MLB Rumors: New York Yankees Interested in Bartolo Colon

Bronx Baseball DailySenior Analyst IJanuary 3, 2011

BALTIMORE - JUNE 1:  Bartolo Colon #40 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Baltimore Orioles June 1, 2008 at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The Yankees are reportedly interested in signing free agent starter Bartolo Colon according to the Spanish AP (H/T to MLB Trade Rumors for the translation).

Without any big names on the free agent market, the Yankees seem to be looking at pitchers who are higher risk/higher reward types. This will keep costs down while providing more time for their minor league prospects to develop. The alternative this offseason seems to be giving long-term contracts to mediocre pitchers.

Colon fits into this category well. Once a 20-game winner, Colon hasn’t pitched since 2009 and hasn’t been able to toss more than 100 innings since 2005. The big question is whether or not he’s healthy, which so far this offseason he has been. In seven starts in the Dominican Winter League, he has posted a 1.47 ERA. There is a big difference between making seven or eight starts and pitching over the course of an entire season.

Colon, 37, also has the Rangers and Indians interested in him, but he would be smart to wait out for Andy Pettitte's decision. The Yankees need another starter now, but if Pettitte decides to retire they’ll really need another starter. That automatically drives up the bidding for Colon. Even the Rangers or Indians might have to increase their bids just out of fear the Yankees could flex their financial muscle.

Still, all three teams are likely to want to sign Colon on a minor league deal with a ton of incentives. If Pettitte retires Colon could hold out for a guaranteed major league deal, but that’s a long shot. Realistically it would probably just increase his incentives.

What do you think? Should the Yankees target Colon? Or should they target somebody else or just stick with the minor leaguers?

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