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Baseball Daily Dose

Daily Dose: Better with Age

by David Shovein
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Just days after signing 42-year-old R.A. Dickey to bolster their starting rotation, the Braves went out and added another veteran hurler to their stable of arms in veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon.


The deal is a one-year pact worth $12.5 million, which is a nice raise for Colon over the $7.25 million that he took home in 2016.


To refer to him as a veteran is an understatement. The 43-year-old hurler made his major league debut in 1997, the same year that Turner Field opened. There’s a chance that he now could take the ball when the Braves open their new stadium to begin the 2017 campaign.


Colon has logged 3172 1/3 innings in his illustrious career, more than any active pitcher in baseball. His finest season came as a 21-game winner for the Angels in 2005 where he captured his lone Cy Young Award.


That’s not to say he hasn’t been valuable into his forties however. In his three seasons with the Mets, Colon fired no fewer than 191 2/3 innings in any season, compiling a 3.90 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in the process.


There’s certainly value to be had from his ability to eat innings, not to mention his veteran leadership over an extremely young and inexperienced Braves’ staff.


The fact that he’s going to remain in the National League is an added bonus for the fact that we’ll still get to enjoy him taking his cuts at the plate on a regular basis. By his standards, he had a career-year at the plate in 2016, hitting .083 (5-for-60) while socking his first career home run.



Mariners nab Valencia from Athletics

Mariners general manager Jerry DiPoto took to the trade market on Saturday to upgrade his club, snagging Danny Valencia from the Athletics in exchange for Double-A hurler Paul Blackburn.


Valencia is expected to primarily play at first base for the Mariners, where he’ll form a platoon with Dan Vogelbach. Valencia, who has made a career out of destroying left-handed pitching, slashed .287/.346/.446 with 17 homers and 51 RBI in 130 games for the A’s in 2016.


He had been on the outs in Oakland, perhaps due to his scuffle with teammate Billy Butler late in the 2016 season.


In exchange, the Athletics receive Paul Blackburn. The 22-year-old compiled a 3.27 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 99/35 K/BB ratio over 143 innings at Double-A in 2016. It’s a nice get for the A’s in return for Valencia who is entering the final year of his contract.


Go Go Gurriel

The Blue Jays landed an impressive prospect on Saturday, signing Cuban infielder Lourdes Gurriel to a seven-year, $22 million contract.


The signing is exempt from the MLB’s International Bonus pools as Gurriel turned 23 years old on October 10.


He is expected to begin his minor league career playing shortstop at Double-A New Hampshire, though many believe that he could wind up at second base, third base or the outfield in the long run.


Gurriel wound up receiving much less guaranteed money than his brother, Yulieski, did when he signed a five-year, $47.5 million contract with the Astros last summer.


In his final season in the Cuban National Series in 2015, the younger Gurriel slashed .344/.407/.560 with 10 homers, 53 RBI and eight stolen bases in 59 games.


It would not be the least bit surprising to see him debut with the Blue Jays at some point in 2017.




Quick Hits: Nolan Arenado announced that he will play for the United States during the World Baseball Classic… The Mets have yet to have substantive discussions with Neil Walker on a multi-year contract extension… David Vassegh believes that the Dodgers could have interest in free agent Mark Melancon, as they discussed acquiring him from the Pirates before the trade deadline… Jim Bowden reports that the Blue Jays have had talks with the Mets about acquiring Jay Bruce… The Mariners plan to have Ben Gamel start in a corner outfield spot to begin the 2017 season… Mike Montgomery will enter spring training as a starter, competing for a spot in the Cubs’ rotation… The Mariners are unlikely to re-sign Dae-Ho Lee or Franklin Gutierrez  after acquiring Danny Valencia from the Athletics… The Pirates are on the “short list” of team’s that Derek Holland is considering, though he’ll give the Rangers an opportunity to match any free agent offer he receives… In the final year of his contract, Brandon Phillips is believed to be more likely to waive his no-trade clause than he has been in the past… The Braves signed Jordan Walden to a minor league contract with a spring training invite… The Nationals re-signed Chris Heisey to a one-year deal… Francisco Lindor and Anthony Rizzo were named as the 2016 recipients of the Rawlings Platinum Gloves… Colin Rea underwent successful Tommy John surgery on Thursday and will miss the entire 2017 season… The Angels signed Jesse Chavez to a one-year, $5.75 million deal... Eric Thames is generating interest from several MLB clubs after spending the last three seasons destroying the baseball in the Korean Baseball Organization.

David Shovein

Dave Shovein is a baseball writer for NBC Sports Edge. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveShovein.