In the days after designating Christian Colon for assignment, Royals manager Ned Yost expressed hope that the infielder and former postseason hero would pass through waivers without being claimed and remain a member of the organization at Class AAA Omaha.
Yet on Tuesday afternoon, after Colon was claimed by the Miami Marlins, Yost and Royals general manager Dayton Moore said they were happy to see Colon get an opportunity somewhere else. Six days earlier, Colon, 28, had been a roster casualty when the club needed more relief pitching during a four-game series in Tampa Bay. On Tuesday, his time with the Royals officially came to an end.
“It simply wasn’t feasible to keep him on the team based on the circumstances we were in,” Moore said. “And truthfully, [it was] not real fair to him — a young player that’s not playing a lot. It’s better for his career to try to hook on somewhere else where there’s more of an opportunity to play.”
With no options remaining, Colon made the team out of spring training, ahead of infielder Whit Merrifield, who had options left. But after making just six starts during the opening month of the season, Colon was deemed expendable. The Royals already featured infielder Cheslor Cuthbert in a backup role. Raul Mondesi remains back at Omaha after opening the season as the club’s starting shortstop.
In a corresponding roster move, the Marlins designated infielder Steve Lombardozzi for assignment. Colon must remain on the Marlins’ 25-man roster for at least two days.
A former first-round pick in 2010, Colon debuted for the Royals in 2014 and was involved in two of the most famous postseason moments in club history. He scored the winning run in the 2014 Wild Card victory over the Oakland A’s. One year later, he drove in the go-ahead run in Game 5 of the World Series in New York.
“His success speaks for itself,” Moore said. “He will go down in Royals history for all of his accomplishments and the big hits in the playoffs and the World Series.”
Also on Tuesday, the Cincinnati Reds claimed minor-league outfielder Peter O’Brien, who was designated for assignment on the same day as Colon. O’Brien, 26, was batting .162 with a .235 on-base percentage and three homers for Class AAA Omaha. After claiming him off waivers, the Reds optioned O’Brien to Class AAA Louisville. With options remaining, O'Brien did not have to be placed on the 25-man roster.
To make room on their 40-man roster, the Reds placed former Royals pitcher Brandon Finnegan on the 60-day disabled list.