Colabello elects free agency, ending time with Blue Jays

Chris Colabello and the Toronto Blue Jays are going their separate ways after two seasons that saw the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

The 33-year-old has reportedly elected free agency after being outrighted off the 40-man roster recently.

Colabello made headlines in 2016 after testing positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT), landing him an 80-game PED suspension. This came on the heels of a very slow start to the season, and following his return, Colabello was unable to gain any real traction with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons.

Toronto’s signings of Kendrys Morales and Steve Pearce, plus the presence of Rowdy Tellez, left even less room for the veteran entering 2017.

After joining the Blue Jays two off-seasons ago, Colabello was one of 2015’s most unexpected stars. A career journeyman that battled for nine seasons in the independent Canadian-American Association, Colabello broke in to the minor leagues with the Minnesota Twins in 2012 and made his MLB debut one season later.

Nobody could have expected what he first brought to the Blue Jays, though, hitting .321 with 15 home runs and an .886 OPS.

Now Colabello returns to an uncertain future, which is something he fought so many years to avoid. At last word, Colabello was still firmly in denial of his positive PED test and searching constantly for a reason as to why it had happened.

There is no question that Chris Colabello can hit. He may not reach that 2015 level again, but throughout his career, Colabello has naturally and consistently put up numbers.

If an MLB team chooses to bring him in, Colabello could surely provide some steady production in the upper-minors, but many organizations will lean towards youth, upside, and players without a recent PED suspension.

Given that, perhaps options open up to Colabello elsewhere. Japan and Korea have served some players well as an opportunity to re-establish their value or prove that they still have “it”. This strategy certainly worked out for Eric Thames, and if Colabello doesn’t land a minor-league-gig, that might be his quickest route back.

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