All right, that headline is underselling it. The Twins have signed free agent pitcher Bartolo Colon, in all of his 300 pound, 44 year old glory, to a minor league deal. There is some expectation that he could join the Twins rotation as soon as next week, when the playoff push begins.
At the opposite end of the baseball spectrum, from both a longevity and athleticism standpoint, the Twins also called up Zach Granite, who played his first game of his major league career on Sunday afternoon. He drew a walk and made an excellent catch in center field.
This is the first round of the Twins actively seeking to better their team. Previous call ups and send downs this year have seemed to ride largely on injury and availability, save for perhaps Jose Berrios being called up. Call ups have been a patchwork of players looking to patch the hull of their leaking ship. Nik Turley was never expected to be an answer, nor was Adam Wilk. Colon and Granite might be expected to stick around.
Colon was an effective pitcher as recently as last year, and his time might be better spent if he doesn’t have to worry about time at the plate. Granite is rising quickly through the Twins ranks, as discussed last week, and will provide an extra defender, in the event Robbie Grossman can be move to a full time DH role. As many on Twitter point out, Granite was given the number 8, which is not a number given to a temporary player.
The Twins have made an effort to improve the team down the stretch, and beforer they do anything rash or make a large investment in terms of cash or prospects, and have instead made low risk moves in order to solidify their roster. There is no downside to these moves, and if they don’t work out, but the Twins remain in contention, the front office won’t feel reluctant to make a bolder move, if one becomes available.