In looking at 2021 MLB free agents, Alex Colome may be getting lost in the shuffle. While Liam Hendriks, Brad Hand, and Trevor Rosenthal may have more name recognition, Colome is a quality closer who still has plenty in the tank. He surely deserves consideration from teams still seeking a closer.
Rosenthal has already signed this offseason. He was regarded as one of the prize closers on the market prior to signing. Hendriks and Hand are still out there to be had and have gotten their share of attention. However, Colome seems to be flying under the radar, as compared to the other 2021 MLB free agents.
2021 MLB Free Agents: Alex Colome- Background
Since he is not as well-known as some of the others, a brief introduction may be in order. He has spent most of his eight-year career in smaller markets, which may help explain his lower name recognition. So, a little background information will help readers get a better sense of who he is.
Alex Colome: The Early Years
Colome started his career in 2013 with the Tampa Bay Rays. In his first two seasons, he made a total of eight appearances, six of those as a starter. In 2015, however, he appeared in 43 games, with 30 of those as a reliever. His days as a starter had come to an end.
Alex Colome: Reaching The Peak
in 2016, Colome’s career took a huge leap, as he posted career-best numbers in many categories. Colome had a K/9 rate of 11.3, as well as a K/BB rate of 4.73. He also posted an ERA of 1.91 and made his only appearance in the All-Star game. He finished 2016 with 37 saves.
Colome followed up his stellar breakout season with a solid 2017, although he was not as dominant as in 2016. He led the AL with 47 saves, but also saw his ERA rise to 3.24. His K/9 rate dropped dramatically to 7.8; his K/BB rate also plunged to 2.52. He had more saves, but the stats were down overall.
Alex Colome: Recent Performance
Colome split the 2018 season between Tampa and Seattle, being traded mid-season. He accumulated only 12 saves, with a solid ERA of 3.04. His strikeout rates rose again, although not to the levels of his 2016 All-Star season. Overall, his season was decent, but not spectacular.
In the 2018 offseason, Colome was traded to the White Sox. He was solid in his two seasons with the Sox, saving 30 games in 2019, and 12 in the shortened 2020 season. However, his numbers from 2019 to 2020 are somewhat perplexing, especially to Sox fans.
For example, Colome’s ERA dropped from a solid 2.84 in 2019 to an outstanding 0.81 in 2020. Sounds pretty good, huh? His K/BB rate dropped from 2.39 to 2.00. This reflects a precipitous drop in his strikeout rate. Many Sox fans noticed this, and see it as a sign that, at 31, he may be starting to experience a decline.
2021 MLB Free Agents: Alex Colome Prospects
Closers in decline typically are not overly attractive to potential suitors. Yet, it is possible that Colome’s drop in strikeout rate was just an aberration. His true value will finally be determined by what teams see in him, regardless of what Sox fans may think.
That said, Colome does have value in the marketplace. it may not be as high as some of the other 2021 MLB free agents, but there is some interest in Colome. At least three teams have shown interest in the closer, with perhaps more to follow.
The Minnesota Twins, the White Sox division rivals, are said to be interested in Colome. He worked with Twins’ manager Rocco Baldelli in Tampa, so he has a familiarity with him. It would be a double bonus for the Twins to sign away the closer from their closest rival. Of course, the Twins are likely considering others on the list of 2021 MLB free agents.
The Red Sox have also expressed an interest in signing Alex Colome. Red Sox GM Chaim Bloom has ties to the closer and is said to be looking to acquire a closer this offseason. The Red Sox bullpen was miserable in 2019, and they are looking at the 2021 MLB free agents to help fill a huge void.
Two more teams interested in Colome are the Nationals and the Astros. Colome has a relationship with Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez and pitching coach Jim Hickey, as well as connections to the Astros’ GM James Click. So, his extensive travel background could pay off for Colome.
Then, there are the White Sox, who are still in need of a closer themselves. They have been eyeing perhaps the best of the 2021 MLB free agents, Liam Hendriks as their closer. They also have been linked to veteran closer Brad Hand. Evidently, they have not ruled out the idea of bringing Colome back. However, there is a sense that he is not their first choice.
All in all, there appear to be five teams with interest in Colome. He may not be the best of the 2021 MLB free agents, but, evidently, teams do not seem to think that he is in decline. That seems to be a pretty robust market and could help Colome land a bigger deal. Time will tell just how interested each of these teams is in Colome.
Alex Colome: Final Thoughts
In looking at the closers on the list of 2021 MLB free agents, Alex Colome seems to be attracting a fair number of suitors. However, there are no reports of any substantive offers yet, so this may all be speculation or posturing.
In any event, Colome, like the others remaining on the list of 2021 MLB free agents, will just have to wait his turn. Yet, it sure looks like he is going to get paid well by somebody. Sometimes, a little patience goes a long way.
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