The A's signed free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon to a one-year, $2 million contract on Tuesday, adding a veteran arm to a rotation that's been depleted by trades this offseason.
An agreement had been in place for about a week, but Colon, 38, needed to pass a physical for it to become official. He's expected to join a starting five that includes Brandon McCarthy and Dallas Braden but is very unsettled beyond them.
Colon went 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA in 29 games (26 starts) last season for the New York Yankees, after he missed all of 2010 with elbow and shoulder injuries.
When the A's shipped Trevor Cahill to Arizona and Gio Gonzalez to Washington in December, they traded away 39 percent of their wins and 28 percent of their innings pitched from the past two seasons. They followed up by trading closer Andrew Bailey to Boston and also dealt two rotation candidates, Guillermo Moscoso and Josh Outman, to Colorado.
Left-hander Brett Anderson, a returning starter, will miss at least the first half of the season while returning from reconstructive elbow surgery. And even Braden is a question mark to begin the season as he comes back from shoulder surgery.
So the A's need Colon, a two-time All-Star, to eat up innings. He is 161-113 with a 4.09 ERA over his 14-year major league career. But how much does the 2005 A.L. Cy Young winner have left in the tank?
He went 5-2 with a 2.96 ERA over his first 10 starts last season. After a strained left hamstring sent him to the disabled list, he returned to go 3-7 with a 4.81 ERA over his final 16 starts.
The A's have yet to announce the signing of outfielder Jonny Gomes, but that might come as soon as Wednesday. Gomes, a right-handed hitter, is in line to get outfield or D.H. at-bats against left-handed pitchers.