Oakland Athletics Bring Suspended Pitcher Bartolo Colon Back

Paul Francis SullivanChief Writer INovember 3, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 18: Bartolo Colon #21 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Cleveland Indians during the eighth inning at O.co Coliseum on August 18, 2012 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

The Oakland Athletics are re-signing Bartolo Colon to a $3 million contract. He was suspended for 50 games earlier this year after testing positive for testosterone. And all of that seems to be in the rearview mirror for Oakland management.

According to the AP's Janie McCauley, Oakland general manager Billy Beane feels that Colon is "cost effective and good."

Colon has been pitching in winter ball—and that was all Beane needed to know, as the A's need pitching depth to retain their American League West title.

The team is bringing back Tommy Milone, Jarrod Parker, Travis Blackley, A.J. Griffin, Dan Straily and Brett Anderson. Grant Balfour and Ryan Cook are also coming back.

Why not bring back Colon, who threw 152.1 innings, averaging 6.1 innings per start? Obviously, the Athletics are not squeamish about bringing back a suspended player.

He lost nearly half a million dollars in salary last year and will be suspended the first five games of the 2013 season.

When he comes back, the Oakland team that will go into the season will have the deepest staff in the American League West. Throw in the addition of Chris Young and the possibility of dealing an outfielder for infield depth, and the A's might have already done everything they need to do for their defense without making a major move.

Is that worth a cheap contract to a former Cy Young winner with a PED problem? Billy Beane says yes. And he hasn't been wrong yet.