The Diamondbacks, who have made no secret of the fact that they would like to add a veteran to the back end of their starting rotation, have expressed interest in free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon, FOXSportsArizona.com reported.
Colon, 38, is exactly the type of pitcher the D-backs would seek to add -- experienced, inexpensive, and short-term -- to a rotation that also includes Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Trevor Cahill, and Josh Collmenter. Colon went 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA in 29 appearances (26 starts) for the New York Yankees last season, though he faltered down the stretch. He did not win after July 30 and went 0-4 with a 5.84 ERA in his last eight starts. The Yankees chose not to add Colon to their playoff roster.
The D-backs, turned down on their $13 million bid by free agent Hiroki Kuroda, would like a veteran who would provide a one-year buffer but would not block the glut of prospects at the minor league level. If the D-backs do not add a veteran, rookies Wade Miley, Tyler Skaggs, Trevor Bauer, Patrick Corbin, and Charles Brewer will enter spring training as the top contenders for the final rotation spot.
It is unclear whether the D-backs have continued interest in left-hander Joe Saunders, who was not offered arbitration after going 12-13 with a 3.69 ERA in a career-high 212 innings for the D-backs last season. It would appear that Saunders would have to agree to take a dramatic pay cut -- he made $5.5 million last year -- to fit into the team's payroll structure.
Colon, 161-113 in 14 seasons, was the AL Cy Young winner when he went 21-8 with the Los Angeles Angles in 2005, but he has not pitched a full season since because of arm issues. Colon has used revolutionary stem cell treatment in an attempt to combat tears in his right elbow and rotator cuff. He missed the entire 2010 season, but was hitting in the mid-90s with his fastball with the Yankees earlier last year.
--RHP Bartolo Colon has drawn interest from the D-backs, who have said all winter they would like to add a veteran starter to the back end of the rotation. RHP Hiroki Kuroda dawdled after being given a $13 million offer by the D-backs, who then took the money and invested in a two-year, $15 million deal with LF Jason Kubel. Colon, or someone like him, would be an experienced, inexpensive, short-term answer for the D-backs, enabling them to not have to rush any of their top minor league prospects, such as Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer, to the majors.
--C Miguel Montero, who is in negotiations on a multi-year contract, filed for arbitration at the Jan. 13 deadline. Montero led National League catchers in doubles (36), RBI (84), and slugging (.471) last season, so he could therefore expect to nearly double his salary if his case reaches a hearing. Montero made $3.2 million last season, his second year of arbitration eligibility.
--3B Ryan Roberts, who made the 2011 team with a strong spring training and went on to have career highs in home runs (19) and stolen bases (18), is in his first year of arbitration after qualifying as a "super two," one of the top 17 percent of players who have two-plus years of service time. Roberts spent most of 2009 with the D-backs, so he has two years and 150 days of major league time. He could triple his $423,500 salary from 2011.
--RHP Brad Ziegler, who had a 1.74 ERA in 23 appearances with the D-backs after being acquired from Oakland at the trade deadline July 31, filed for arbitration after making $1.25 million last year. Ziegler is in his second year of arbitration eligibility.
--LHP Craig Breslow, who joined the D-backs with RHR Trevor Cahill in early December, filed for arbitration after earning $1.4 million with Oakland last season. He also earned a $25,000 bonus by finishing 25 games. He is to join LHP Joe Paterson as the only lefties in the D-backs' bullpen.
DIAMOND STAT:4 -- D-backs eligible for arbitration after 3B Ryan Roberts qualified as a "super two."
QUOTABLE: "He likes it here and we love him, so we will hopefully get there." -- D-backs president/CEO Derrick Hall, on the progress of negotiations on a multi-year contract with C Miguel Montero, in a chat with fans.
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