As Opening Day nears, general managers throughout baseball are forced to make some of their toughest decisions all year — figuring out who to to cut from the big league rosters.
Already we’ve seen crushing demotions and reassignments from Ronald Acuna to Eloy Jimenez, but perhaps the most upsetting transaction of this spring took place early Saturday afternoon when the Texas Rangers made the gutting choice to release Bartolo Colon.
Ok, so maybe it wasn’t that tough of a decision. Colon is 44 years old and by no means anything more than a sturdy innings-eater who would be due $1.75 million if he made the final roster. But don’t get too upset. The Rangers might not be done with Big Sexy just yet.
Colon is still at camp with Texas and the two sides are apparently working on ways to bring him back with potential for him to make the Opening Day roster, per the Dallas Morning News.
The move buys the Rangers a bit more time to make decisions on other prospects without having to worry about designating a player for assignment and potentially losing them on waivers. On the other side, Colon may have a bit more demand now with some teams in need of a short-to-medium term pitching solution as they deal with injuries and setbacks to other arms. The San Francisco Giants certainly come to mind after losing both Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija for at least the next few weeks.
So Colon’s release isn’t really the worst thing for either the club or pitcher right now. Not having Colon on an Opening Day roster — as sad as that might be for fans — isn’t exactly the end of the road for the 20-year veteran either. Colon had a solid spring, finishing with a 3.00 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 10/2 K/BB ratio in 18 innings.
As long as he stays healthy (which he’s proven he can do) and opportunities for Major League pitchers open up (which always happens), we’ll get to see Colon again in 2018.
Anything other than that, however, would be a serious tragedy for baseball fans everywhere.
No pressure, Texas.
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