Bartolo Colon is preparing to hit the mound in the Middle East…
The 50-year-old Dominican-American former professional baseball pitcher, nicknamed “Big Sexy,” has been selected in the inaugural draft of a Dubai-based baseball league.
Colon joins a roster of notable, older former MLB player picks that includes Robinson Cano, Pablo Sandoval, Didi Gregorius, Andrelton Simmons and Steven Moya.
Colon, the 2005 Cy Young Award winner and a four-time MLB All-Star, went 16th overall to the Karachi Monarchs, one of four Baseball United teams slated to begin play next fall in the cricket-mad region. The Dubai Wolves, Mumbai Cobras and Abu Dhabi Falcons are the others.
The right-hander last pitched in 2018 with the Texas Rangers to end a 21-year major league career. He announced his retirement in September during a ceremony with the New York Mets.
The 40-year-old Canó, an eight-time MLB All-Star, went sixth overall to the Dubai Wolves. Canó, who played last season with the Atlanta Braves, batted .301 with 335 homers over a 17-year career that included a 2009 World Series title with the New York Yankees. He was one of several players to pose in his new uniform for posts on Baseball United’s social media Monday.
Sandoval, 37 and known as “Kung Fu Panda” during a 13-year career most memorable for helping the San Francisco Giants win World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014, was the fourth overall pick by the Falcons. The Venezuelan last played 69 games with the Atlanta Braves two years ago.
Moya, 32, was the second selection by the Monarchs. He batted .250 with five homers and 11 RBI with the Detroit Tigers from 2014-16.
The picks will also compete in an All-Star showcase next month at Dubai International Stadium.
The league’s investors include Hall of Famers Mariano Rivera and Barry Larkin. Kash Shaikh, president and CEO of Baseball United, told The Associated Press in May that the league will own the initial four teams, with four additional teams to be unveiled next year. He hopes the teams can eventually reap lucrative returns at auction. He also promised yet-to-be announced rules that would differ from Major League Baseball, including “things that you’d never see in other professional baseball leagues” to further appeal to cricket audiences.