Most of the focus with the Red Sox right now is with regards to Tomoyuki Sugano, the NPB star who has been posted and is expected to sign with a major-league club by the end of this week and to whom Boston has been connected. As we wait for that news, though, the Red Sox are of course working on things with other players as well. They, for example, need some help in the back end of the bullpen with someone to pair with Matt Barnes, and a report came out on Saturday about that possible interest. According to Robert Murray of Fansided, Boston is among the teams showing interest in former White Sox closer Alex Colomé.
The Astros, Red Sox, Nationals and Twins are among the teams interested in free-agent reliever Alex Colome.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) January 2, 2021
Colome worked w/ Twins manager Rocco Baldelli in Tampa. Astros (James Click), Red Sox (Chaim Bloom) and Nationals (Dave Martinez and Jim Hickey) all have ties to Colome.
As Murray points out, there is a connection here with Bloom as Colomé spent the early parts of his career with the Rays organization. Tampa Bay originally signed the righty out of the Dominican Republic and he eventually made his major-league debut there, playing for the Rays over five full seasons before being traded to Seattle midway through his sixth year. He’s also spent the last two years with the White Sox.
Overall, the righty has been a consistent presence in the back of major-league bullpens for the better part of a decade at this point. Most recently he had a dominant 2020 for the White Sox, at least in terms of results. Over 22 1⁄3 innings he pitched to a 0.81 ERA with 16 strikeouts and eight walks as Chicago’s closer, his fourth full season in that role in his career. Through eight seasons in the majors Colomé has pitched to a 2.95 ERA with a shade over eight strikeouts per nine innings and three walks per nine. Most impressive has been the now-32-year-old’s (he’ll be 32 for all of the 2021 season) durability, as he made at least 57 appearances in every season between 2014 and 2019, while making 20 in the 60-game 2020 campaign.
Colomé isn’t the pitcher he once was in his prime, but as he has shown in recent years that hasn’t stopped him from being productive. He is largely a two-pitch pitcher at this point with a cutter and a four-seam fastball, and the velocity on the latter has stayed steady, still sitting in the mid-90s. And while he isn’t getting quite as high of a whiff rate on the cutter as he did earlier in his career, it’s still a very good pitch and the one off of which Colomé works.
It’s not a surprise that the Red Sox are just one of multiple teams interested in the veteran. Every team can use another reliable bullpen arm, and ones like Colomé who combine recent performance with long-time experience in the late innings do not come by all the time. For what it’s worth, MLB Trade Rumors pegged Colomé for a one-year deal worth $6 million at the start of the offseason while FanGraphs readers predicted a two-year deal worth a total of $16 million.