Yanks sign Bartolo Colon to minor league deal; transaction apparently funniest thing Yankee beat writers have ever heard

News comes that the Yankees have signed former AL Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon to a minor league deal worth $900,000. Per Joel Sherman, Colon has the right to be released at end of spring if has not made the Yankees’ Major League roster.

I looked at Colon a few weeks ago, and concluded that while there didn’t appear to be much to like about Colon, “I suppose you could do worse if you were to sign Colon to a minor league deal with no guarantees regarding making the big league club.”

Seeing as how that’s pretty much exactly what has happened, this is a fine low-risk signing. However, I’m reluctant to add high-reward to that analysis, given that we really have no idea what Colon will end up providing, so let’s just call it “reward” and leave it at that. For what it’s worth, THT’s Oliver system has Colon’s 2011 Major League Equivalency line as 60 innings of 4.46 ERA ball with a 1.37 WHIP, 5.4 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 1.2 HR/9, worth 0.6 WAR. The peripherals are pretty ugly, but that still seems like a surprisingly optimistic line for the typically negative Oliver projection system. If the Yankees were able to get even 100 innings out of Colon at around a 4.50 ERA in the back end of the rotation I think that’d have to be considered reasonably successful, but it just doesn’t seem likely.

Relatedly, you’d think it was amateur hour at the comedy club the way the Yankee beat writers are guffawing over this rather inconsequential move on Twitter. I remain baffled that the local papers employ people who continually display outright contempt for the team and the GM and routinely mock the moves the team makes (and doesn’t make). Honestly, if you hate the Yankees so much, why do this for a living? It can’t be because of the paycheck.

3 thoughts on “Yanks sign Bartolo Colon to minor league deal; transaction apparently funniest thing Yankee beat writers have ever heard

  1. I don't see how this is a bad move at all by the Yanks, certainly not worth criticizing.

    I don't expect anything out of Colon, but it's a low-risk, high-reward move for the Yanks to try to get a few more reliable starts.

    I would take this over handing $3 million to someone who is equally washed up, like Brad Penny (oh wait, the Tigers were actually dumb enough to do that).

  2. I actually advocated for a Penny signing, as I think there may still be something left in the tank and he seemed like the best bet of the remaining scrapheap starters. CAIRO had Penny pegged for 1.2 WAR (though that was as a Cardinal), but even if he falls somewhat short of that he'll still likely be something of a bargain at $3M, as the going rate of a win on the market this offseason is roughly $5 million per.

    As a rule of thumb, I don't have a problem with signing low-risk guys to reasonable one-year deals — if any team can do that, it's the Yankees. If it doesn't work out, it's pretty damn easy to cut ties.

  3. It is the kind of typical low-risk, potentially high reward situation that Texas typically does. Man, do you guys feel what I do? Texas and NYY have flipped team personas. Texas outmanuevers NY for Lee, beats NY for the AL Championship and signs better free agents than NY. Now if only Texas can win 20something World Series titles in the next 100 years the switch will be complete :)

    in answer to your last question, I used to write some local and statewide sports for a couple of medium size newspapers here in Texas when I was in college. I think that most people who do it either go into it with the attitude or develop the attitude along the way that "I am not a fan of this team, but I will follow them day to day and criticize the team when it is warranted". When you are around the front office guys a lot and hang with the team, it is hard to be a fan when you see those fellas with their warts and flaws exposed every day. Familiarity breeds contempt, right?

    I saw that in the limited time I worked in the field and it was really shocking how deeply many writers feel it (or fake it to keep up appearances), though sometimes I wondered if they were just pretending to be such jerks to one-up the other writers and look cool (like the punk kids in high school who clown the teacher to try to get attention).

    I don't know the particular writers you are talking about. So they might be great Yankee fans and I would be all wrong. But most of the guys on the team beats I ran into really weren't fans of the team at all. That is hard to swallow for those of us who follow the team with a passion. But it is the way of the sports world.