Colon gets $51M deal from Angels

Originally Published: December 9, 2003
Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Bartolo Colon was among the millions who got caught up in the Anaheim Angels' improbable run to the 2002 World Series title.

Now he'll try to help Anaheim win another championship.

Bartolo Colon
Starting pitcher
Anaheim Angels
34 242.0 15-13 67 173 3.87

Colon agreed Tuesday to a four-year deal worth $51 million with the Angels, becoming the second free-agent pitcher they've signed in less than three weeks. Kelvim Escobar got a three-year deal worth $18.75 million.

"I watched most of that World Series on TV," Colon said, speaking through an interpreter. "I couldn't watch the last few innings because it made me too nervous. I was for the Angels.

"Now I'm happy to be here, and that most of those same players are still here."

After landing two of the most coveted starters on the free-agent market, Angels general manager Bill Stoneman plans to turn his attention to acquiring a position player.

"We had our sights set on pitching and I think we accomplished that," Stoneman said. "I would say that, conservatively, we're not finished yet."

Colon is a former 20-game winner who has reached double-digit wins in six consecutive seasons.

"Bartolo not only has the ability to go out there and give us a lot of quality innings, I believe he can help elevate the staff by taking the lead," manager Mike Scioscia said.

Signing Colon might not be Anaheim's last big move this winter.

If the Alex Rodriguez-Manny Ramirez deal goes through, five-time All-Star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra would be out of a job. It's believed the Red Sox might try to trade him to the Angels for a pitcher, possibly Jarrod Washburn, or second baseman Adam Kennedy. Third baseman Troy Glaus' name has also been mentioned.

"We're trying to keep our options open, but we feel we are in position to maneuver now," said Arte Moreno, who purchased the Angels from The Walt Disney Co. last spring.

Stoneman, asked about the possibility of acquiring another big name player, said, "We'll have to wait and see how it all might fit together. It gets a little creative now."

Colon was only 15-13 with a 3.87 ERA for the Chicago White Sox this year, but he pitched a career-high nine complete games and was second in the AL with 242 innings. His 173 strikeouts also ranked in the top 10.

In seven seasons with Cleveland, Montreal and Chicago, the 30-year-old Colon is 100-62 with a 3.86 ERA.

Escobar went 13-9 with a 4.29 ERA and four saves in 26 starts and 15 relief appearances for the Blue Jays last season, working a career-high 180 1-3 innings.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press