During the offseason, the Oakland A's were adding veterans like Chris Young and Jed Lowrie to bolster the batting lineup and improve the team's weakest area: hitting.
However, with the pitching staff, the A's were thought to be getting younger after they lost Brandon McCarthy in free agency and had solid production from rookies Jarrod Parker, Dan Straily, A.J. Griffin and Tommy Milone. With Brett Anderson as the top guy, the rotation was set to defend the division title.
Then, as the season approached, the A's decided to bring back Bartolo Colon—the 40-year-old veteran who had been suspended in 2012—on a cheap, one-year, $3 million contract with thoughts of using him in the bullpen.
This re-signing was thought to be stunting the growth and development of a promising, young pitching rotation.
Fast-forward to late June and Colon has become the staff ace. He has been putting together an All-Star-caliber season. The A's need Colon, especially after Anderson was lost for an extended amount of time to injury, which left an open void in the A's rotation. Colon has certainly filled that void by pitching like a true staff ace.
He has squashed all doubts of his post-suspension skill level by already matching his 2012 win total with 10 so far in 2013. On top of those 10 wins, he has just two losing decisions and his ERA currently sits at 2.93 after 15 starts. Moreover, he has walked just 12 batters.
Not only is Colon looking like an All-Star, he is looking like he wants one more Cy Young Award before he retires. He won the American League Cy Young Award in 2005 with the Los Angeles Angels.
Colon may be 40 years old and surrounded by cheaper, younger and possibly better pitchers in the A's organization, but he is earning every penny of that $3 million contract the A's gave him to return to Oakland for 2013.