The Twins, according to multiple reports out of the Twin Cities area, have wanted the longtime Can-Am star to accept an offer from Korea that would have paid the first baseman-outfielder-DH nearly $1 million (some of it in a side deal) or twice the amount he will earn from the American League team if he can retain a spot on the 25-man roster when the regular season arrives.
Colabello prefers to stay in the U.S. and battle to establish himself as a major leaguer, we understand.
When this story broke recently, the Twins needed to open up a spot on their 40-man winter roster because of the signings of pitcher Mike Pelfrey and catcher Kurt Suzuki. That pair is on the 40-man now and Colabello still is there as well, at least for now.
Reading between the lines, we have to believe the Twins feel the seven-year Worcester, MA standout has to produce big time in spring training to make the Opening Day roster since he only hit .194 (160 at-bats) in the American League despite having a 31-homer season between the World Baseball Classic (Italy), Triple-A Rochester, NY (he was the International League’s MVP) and Minnesota (seven homers). If all the reports about Korea are accurate, Minnesota also might have gotten as much as $1 million for making Colabello available to the 10-team Korean Baseball Organization.
Colabello did not help his case by hitting only .190 with a mere two RBI (no homers) in his 17-game stint in the Dominican this offseason.
CAN-AM ALSO HAD RIGHT-HANDER KARL GELINAS FOR SEVEN YEARS, FIVE TITLES
The rarity of getting a major league organization deal after seven seasons in any Independent league cannot be overstated, but Chris Colabello does not stand alone in this regard.
Philadelphia is giving Quebec starter Karl Gelinas, who led the Can-Am with 10 victories last season, an opportunity in its farm system. Gelinas helped the Capitales to championships in each of the last five years, and totaled 41 wins in his seven seasons with the team.
ATLANTIC LEAGUE LEFTY GETS SPRING TRAINING INVITATION
Ryan Feierabend, who spent most of 2012 as a starting pitcher for the York (PA) Revolution of the Atlantic League (8-5, 2.91), has not only a second contract in the Texas Rangers organization but also a major league spring training invitation as a non-roster player. The 28-year-old southpaw was a combined 7-7 with about a 3.70 ERA with Texas’s top two farm clubs last season.
Feierabend has 19 major league starts (25 appearances) to his credit with Seattle spread from 2006 to 2008. The Mariners gave him $437,500 to sign in ’03 and they kept the Ohio native through the ’10 campaign.
Another lefty, Ryan Kulik, who struggled to a 2-11, 5.83 campaign this past summer with Camden, NJ (Atlantic) but was coming back from elbow surgery, has signed a Triple-A deal with Colorado. It is said to include a spring training invitation, but we are assuming for now that is a minor league invitation.
CANHAM INKS WITH NATS, GREG SMITH RETURNS TO PHILS
In other transactions of note, catcher Mitch Canham (Long Island, NY, Atlantic) has a new contract with the Washington Nationals farm system. He had been with Kansas City. Southpaw Greg Smith (Grand Prairie, TX, American Association) has returned to the Philadelphia organization (AAA) with a new contract. Outfielder Chris Edmondson, signed by Atlanta after a torrid start at Rockland County, NY (Can-Am) last summer, has been released by the Braves.
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