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Bartolo mulling future, focused on contributing

MLB.com @RhettBollinger

MINNEAPOLIS -- Despite an ESPN report that Twins right-hander Bartolo Colon is mulling retirement, sources close to the 20-year veteran told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez that Colon is focused on contributing to the Twins.

Colon, Major League Baseball's longest-tenured pitcher, told ESPN that his ensuing start vs. the Dodgers on Monday could be a "determining factor in making a decision" about retiring. Twins manager Paul Molitor, however, met with Colon on Wednesday, and he downplayed the report. Colon also indicated to the Twins before he signed that he wants to pitch next year. He's long had the goal to pass Hall of Famer Juan Marichal's 243 wins, which are the most by a Dominican-born player. Colon has 235 career victories.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Despite an ESPN report that Twins right-hander Bartolo Colon is mulling retirement, sources close to the 20-year veteran told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez that Colon is focused on contributing to the Twins.

Colon, Major League Baseball's longest-tenured pitcher, told ESPN that his ensuing start vs. the Dodgers on Monday could be a "determining factor in making a decision" about retiring. Twins manager Paul Molitor, however, met with Colon on Wednesday, and he downplayed the report. Colon also indicated to the Twins before he signed that he wants to pitch next year. He's long had the goal to pass Hall of Famer Juan Marichal's 243 wins, which are the most by a Dominican-born player. Colon has 235 career victories.

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"I don't know the context of those conversations, but to think about retiring when you're 44 years old and in baseball, it's a pretty normal thing," said Molitor, a Hall of Famer who retired at 42. "We had a little conversation this morning. He's fine physically. He's scheduled to pitch on Monday, so he'll prepare for that."

Tweet from @JesseSanchezMLB: Sources close to Colon say he isn't thinking about retirement. He's focused on pitching for Twins, being a good teammate and winning games. pic.twitter.com/9EnaXW2BN3

Colon allowed four earned runs in four-plus innings Tuesday evening vs. the Yankees in his first start with the Twins after Minnesota signed him to a Minor League contract on July 7. He threw three scoreless frames before giving up a run in the fourth and three in the fifth.

"I threw a lot of two-seamers, and I felt like I had a good feel for it today," Colon said through a translator following his start Tuesday night. "I didn't have that kind of feel for it in Atlanta."

The 2005 American League Cy Young Award winner with the Angels, Colon has had an illustrious career that includes four All-Star selections. The most recent came last season at age 43, when he went 15-8 with a 3.43 ERA in 33 starts for the Mets.

The 2017 season has not been as kind to Colon, as the veteran hurler is 2-9 with an 8.19 ERA in 14 starts, 13 of which came with the Braves earlier this season.

Colon is one win shy of tying Hall of Famer Whitey Ford (236) on the all-time career wins list, and he has 3,239 1/3 innings pitched in his career.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Minnesota Twins, Bartolo Colon