LAKE BUEVA VISTA, Fla. - Will the Orioles pursuit of starting pitching lead them back toward Bartolo Colon?
At times during this offseason, they have been linked with the Oakland pitcher, who went 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA last year. He had a WHIP of 1.166 and walked just 1.4 batters per nine innings. He was second in the American League in wins and ERA. He looks real good on the stat sheet. Yes, Colon will be 41 in May, but how would his 2013 season have played for the Orioles? Easy answer, he would have been the best pitcher on the staff.
Colon seems a fit in that he's coming off that very good year and he won't come at a huge price. It was thought he'd sign a one-year deal, but Buster Olney this morning tweeted he is looking for more:
"Execs say that Bartolo Colon's rep is focused on getting a two-year deal. Which makes sense, because he can always get a decent 1-year deal."
Colon was suspended 50 games during the 2012 season for elevated testosterone levels. That was reportedly the result of a stem cell injection into Colon's right shoulder that helped to reinvigorate his career when he was with the Yankees in 2011.
That suspension has led some Orioles fans to say no to Colon. My stance continues to be that if a player is legally allowed by the sport to play, and can be signed by any team, that the Orioles can't eliminate themselves from pursuing a player if their competition will not.
Dan Duquette seems to think the same way.
"We do our due diligence on all the players," Duquette said on the topic of pursuing players that have been suspended. "Major League Baseball has a program in place that effectively works so the players can come back and do their job. We are aware of that program and being part of Major League Baseball we are into that program. The program in place deals with that, and once it is dealt with, I think the players can go back to work."
Should the Orioles pursue Colon?