The Diamondbacks, who have been saying all offseason that they're eying a veteran starting pitcher for the back of their rotation, have expressed interest in free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon, a major league source said Friday night.
Colon, 38, was 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA in 26 starts for the New York Yankees last season, and he fits the exact specifications of a veteran the D-backs would choose to add to their young group of Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Trevor Cahill and Josh Collmenter.
The D-backs are seeking an experienced, relatively inexpensive starter, almost certainly for only one season so as not to block the glut of prospects in their minor league system.
They previously kicked the tires on more costly veterans such as Hiroki Kuroda and Mark Buehrle, but after committing 15 million over two years to left fielder Jason Kubel, they do not appear to have much left in the budget.
Kuroda, offered about 13 million by the D-backs, was reported to have signed a one-year deal with the Yankees on Friday.
If the D-backs do not add a veteran, Wade Miley and rookies Tyler Skaggs, Trevor Bauer, Patrick Corbin and Charles Brewer will enter spring training as the top contenders for the final rotation spot.
It is unclear if the D-backs still have interest in left-hander Joe Saunders, who was not offered arbitration after going 12-13 with a 3.69 ERA in a career-high 212 innings for the D-backs last season. It seems that Saunders would have to agree to take a dramatic pay cut -- he made 5.5 million last year -- to fit into the teams payroll structure.
Colon, 161-113 in 14 seasons, was the AL Cy Young winner when he went 21-8 with the Los Angeles Angles in 2005, but he has not pitched a full season since because of arm issues. Colon has tried revolutionary stem-cell treatment in an attempt to combat tears in his right elbow and rotator cuff. He missed the 2010 sesaon but was hitting in the mid-90s with his fastball with the Yankees earlier last year, according to reports.
Colon was winless after July 30 last season, going 0-4 with a 5.84 ERA in his final eight starts for the Yankees.