Jose Contreras
Jose Contreras
46-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  Foreign
Free Agent
2018 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Jose Contreras in 2018. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a minor league contract with the Rangers in December of 2013 that includes an invite to spring training.
PTexas Rangers  F
March 17, 2014
Contreras was offered an assignment to minor league camp Monday, but he's considering his options, the Rangers' official site reports.
Contreras was mostly overwhelmed in his three Cactus League appearances, giving up seven runs on 13 hits and no free passes, while striking out five in six frames. The 42-year-old may opt out of his minor league deal, but considering his lack of success this spring, it's unlikely that he'll find another organization willing to give him a shot.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Contreras has pitched just 27.2 innings in the majors over the last two seasons due to a series of elbow problems. The 41-year-old underwent Tommy John surgery last June and has said he intends to pitch again. Contreras was throwing in the low-90s last season before his elbow problems resurfaced, so he could land a minor league deal somewhere this winter with a team willing to take a chance on him.
Contreras opened last season as the Phillies closer when Brad Lidge went down with an injury. He didn't last long in the role as elbow problems forced him to the disabled list, and he eventually required surgery to repair his flexor tendon. Contreras has been throwing off a mound this spring and is on pace to be ready for Opening Day. He won't have a shot to regain closing duties with Jonathan Papelbon in Philadelphia, so expect him to slot into a seventh-inning role for the Phillies as long as he stays healthy.
The Phillies took a chance on Contreras last year after watching him work as a reliever with the Rockies at the end of the 2009 season. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said team scouts noticed improved stuff from Contreras in a relief role and figured he could help the Phillies in the middle innings. Contreras did more than help, he established himself as a dominant late-inning option and spent some time closing games while Brad Lidge struggled to return to form after an injury. Contreras did go through a bit of a rough patch in the middle of the year but was able to right the ship and closed out the year strong. He was successful in relief thanks to a slight uptick in his velocity now that he can go all out, and his starter's arsenal of pitches that includes a nasty splitter. The Phillies rewarded Contreras with a two-year contract this offseason and envision having him work the seventh inning in front of Ryan Madson and Lidge. That puts Contreras second in line for saves making him a nice endgame pickup in NL-only or very deep mixed leagues.
Contreras had a bumpy start to the 2009 season in Chicago. The Sox were 0-6 in Contreras' six starts, and he had posted a 17:16 K:BB in 29.2 innings to go with an ERA on the wrong side of 8.00. Eventually, he was sent to the minors where he threw a complete game one-hitter, struck out 27 in 33.1 innings and held batters to a .164 average. He carried the momentum back into the majors, earning a 2.06 ERA while holding batters to a .189 average in his first six games back in the big leagues. He returned to his erratic self and was moved to the bullpen, and with one month remaining in the season, he was dealt to the Rockies where he was able to maintain a low ERA. The peripheral numbers, however, tell a different story of opposing batters crushing Contreras in Colorado at .308 with a .799 OPS. He filed for free agency at year's end, and is reported to be in talks with various Japanese clubs about the prospect of pitching there in 2010. Even if he stays in North America, continue to avoid him in all fantasy formats.
Contreras tore his left Achilles' tendon on August 9, ending his season. Surgery was deemed successful, but the rehab process will leave him out until at least mid-April. Without much upside, consider him a reserve pick in AL-only leagues at best.
Splat. There's very little else to say about Contreras' season. Hitters were practically tripping over themselves in order to get a chance to tee off on him. He got bumped to the bullpen at the end of July when his ERA climbed to 6.60 and the White Sox had no takers (shocking!) when they shopped him around to contenders at the trade deadline. He eventually got moved back into the rotation and enjoyed limited success down the stretch in starts against the Royals, Devil Rays and Mariners. He apparently found some of his old velocity in his trip to the bullpen but his struggles date back to the All-Star break in 2006. He'll be the White Sox No. 3 starter as he's owed $10 million in each of the next two seasons and can't come recommended until he shows a prolonged stretch of his previous form.
Contreras won his first nine decisions and earned a slot in the All-Star game. Then he went 4-9 the rest of the way and watched his ERA balloon from 1.83 in late May to 4.27 at the end. He continued his wild ways, throwing 16 wild pitches, second-most in the majors, but walked only 55 batters in 196 innings. A late-season hamstring problem turned out to be a cramp and nothing to worry about. But the innings are piling up for the 35-year-old -- he averaged 190 per season for the past three. He should be watched closely.
Contreras struggled through another first half before something clicked, and he roared down the stretch as the White Sox's most dangerous pitcher (2.05 ERA in August and September). His stuff has never been in question, only his ability to harness it. If 2005's finish proves to be no mirage, anything up to and including a Cy Young is possible for the Cuban.
Contreras clearly has the talent, but just doesn't seem to have the head to be an effective big league pitcher. The Sox are counting on him to be their #3 starter, which is just asking for trouble -- steer clear of Contreras as anything other than a reserve pick.
Contreras will be counted on as a staple of the 2004 rotation. He showed his dominance last season, ending up 7-2 with a 3.30 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and better than 1.0 K/IP ratio even though he started off very shaky. His nasty splitter and 96 MPH fastball kept hitters off balance the entire second half of the season. There is no reason to believe he couldn't build on that effort, especially when he'll be afforded a starter's routine and not be moved back and forth between there and the bullpen. Expect a strong season and plenty of wins.
We're likely to see countless comparisons between Contreras and Orlando Hernandez early this season. Contreras was actually considered the better pitcher for his native Cuba. There are some questions about whether his age is accurate. He's a difficult call, particularly with the Yankees having so many starters.
More Fantasy News
PTexas Rangers  F
March 7, 2014
Contreras tossed three scoreless innings against the Padres on Thursday.
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PTexas Rangers  F
February 28, 2014
Contreras allowed six hits and four runs in one inning in his first spring appearance Friday.
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PTexas Rangers  F
December 5, 2013
Contreras signed a minor-league contract with the Rangers on Thursday that includes an invite to spring training, Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest reports.
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PFree Agent  F
August 19, 2013
Contreras was granted his release from the Red Sox on Monday, reports.
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PBoston Red Sox  F
July 19, 2013
Contreras signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox on Friday, the Boston Herald reports.
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