The Nationals made another move this offseason, this one of the minor league variety, as they announced through their PR department that they have signed RHP Alex Colomé to a minor league deal. The 34 year old 10 year veteran spent all of last season with the Colorado Rockies, appearing in 53 games and pitching to a 5.74 ERA.
Normally we don't spend too much time on Minor League deals, but the Colomé signing is an interesting one. While he struggled last season, he was pitching most of his games in Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, which is a notoriously difficult park to pitch in. His splits are both a little inflated as hit got hit hard in August and September, but he did have a 2.86 ERA in 34 Games over the first half of the season, including an impressive month of June where he appeared in 13 games and held opponents to a .491 OPS.
Over August and September, Colomé appeared in 17 games pitching 12.1 innings allowing 19 ER, including 5 Home Runs. Moral of the story: if he can limit his home runs allowed, he can still be an effective pitcher.
The Nationals do find themselves with a deep bullpen at the Major League Level, but having additional options at the Minor League level to call upon throughout the long season as injuries happen. It's safe to say that Colomé's best days are behind him, as I don't believe he will repeat his All-Star 2016 Campaign when he was the closer for the Tampa Bay Rays, but it is certainly a gamble worth taking if you are the Nationals are you are looking to add depth at every position possible. There's no chance at a top draft pick in 2024 due to the new MLB Draft Lottery rules, so you might as well go all out and try to compete as best you can this year.