Twins sign Alex Colomé
When the Twins brought back Nelson Cruz earlier in the week, one of the ripple effects that was expected was that he’d be able to bring friend and fellow free agent Alex Colomé to town as well. It only took a day for that to come true. Minnesota agreed to terms with the reliever on Wednesday, signing the righty to a one-year deal with a base salary of $5 million, and with an option for 2022 the buyout makes the full guarantee $6.25 million.
Colomé was one of the better relievers on the market this year, having served as a closer for multiple teams over the course of his career. He started his run in the majors with the Rays, but more recently has been in Chicago with the White Sox, with whom he spent two seasons. By the results he’s been phenomenal in each season, though his peripherals in 2019 were more average than good. Last season, though, over 22 1⁄3 innings he pitched to an 0.81 ERA with a 2.97 FIP. He joins an underrated Twins bullpen and will likely share save opportunities with Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey, and Hansel Robles.
The Red Sox were involved in Colomé discussions earlier this winter, and it made sense given their need in the late innings along with his Rays connection. Ultimately, they decided to go in a different direction and paid more for Adam Ottavino, but also got a prospect in the process as well. For a team that, in all honesty, has an uphill battle to contention, that’s an understandable decision even if Colomé is likely the better option for 2021. Boston could still use another relief arm, but I would expect them to be looking for contracts worth half of what Colomé got, if not less.
Brewers sign Kolten Wong
Early in the offseason, one of the most surprising moves around the league was St. Louis declining their $12.5 million option for Kolten Wong, making him a free agent. It’s taken him a while to find a new home, and as it turns out it won’t be too far from his old one. The second baseman has agreed to terms with the Brewers, signing a two-year deal worth $18 million with an option for a third.
Wong is an all-around solid player who should hit atop the Brewers lineup in the coming season. He’s been roughly a league-average hitter for the last few seasons who has been limited by his lack of power but able to stay afloat thanks to a great approach at the plate as well as very good defense up the middle. With him now on the roster, Milwaukee is expected to move former top prospect Keston Hiura over to first base.
There are a few Red Sox-centered angled to take here. The first is the simple one, which is that the Red Sox needed a second baseman and went with Enrique Hernández over Wong. Looking at them as strictly second basemen, I don’t think there’s any question I’d take Wong over Hernández given their deals. But Hernández has the added flexibility of being able to play the outfield, which evens things out a bit for me. I think I still prefer Wong, but it’s close enough that I wouldn’t pull my hair out over it or anything.
The other piece is that I’d wonder if they consider moving Hiura right now. He is still only 24 and not far removed from a great rookie season in 2019, so I’m not even sure the Red Sox have what it would require to get him. But Milwaukee is moving him off a premium position, where the Red Sox would be able to put him and then move Hernández to the outfield. I’d guess the chances of it happening are approaching zero, but it’s worth a call, I’d think.
Three more moves
A few quick hitters to end this one.
- Joakim Soria signed a one-year deal worth $3.5 million with the Diamondbacks. Soria is an interesting case as he is entering his age-37 season, so the risk is clear, but he’s also been fairly consistent even as he’s gotten into his mid-30s. At this price, I would’ve liked to see the Red Sox add him to the mix.
- The Phillies signed Chase Anderson to a one-year deal worth $4 million. Anderson is a really fascinating pitcher, having been really good by strikeouts and walks last year but with major home run problems. That’s a risky profile anywhere, but it would appear especially risky in a small home park in Philly.
- The Orioles agreed to a minor-league deal with Felix Hernandez. The former Mariners superstar opted out of the 2020 season after a strong camp with the Braves, and looking at the Orioles roster it seems likely he’ll make it out of camp.