Revs Sign Major League Veteran Brett Tomko
The York Revolution have made another splash with their off-season signings, bringing veteran Major League starter Brett Tomko on board for the 2013 season. The team also announced the signing of shortstop Wilson Batista. Both signings were made official today by Revs manager Mark Mason.
A 14-year Major League veteran, Tomko carries the most big league service time of any player in Revolution history. His 100 Major League victories are also the most of any pitcher in the history of the Revs. Tomko is entering his 19th professional season, and will turn 40 years old on April 7, the day before the Revs’ first spring training workout.
Originally a second-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds in 1995, Tomko made his Major League debut just two years later, going 11-7 with a 3.43 ERA as a rookie in 1997. Tomko won 13 games the following year, and was named the Reds’ Opening Day starter in 1999. He spent his first three seasons with the Reds, before being dealt to Seattle as part of the Reds’ trade for Ken Griffey, Jr. before the 2000 season.
Tomko was a teammate of Revs pitching coach John Halama during his two seasons in Seattle, helping the Mariners to the postseason both years. He was the winning pitcher on October 4, 2001 when the Mariners claimed their 114th win of the season, tying the 1998 New York Yankees for the American League’s single-season wins record.
Tomko was a double-digit winner each of the following three seasons with San Diego, St. Louis, and San Francisco respectively, and signed a two-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers before the 2006 season, where he was a teammate of close friend and Revolution teammate Jason Repko.
The right-hander would return to the Padres late in the 2007 season, before also suiting up for the Kansas City Royals in 2008 and the Yankees and Oakland Athletics in 2009. Tomko earned his 100th Major League win in his final start of the 2009 season, a complete game shutout for the Athletics in Texas on September 14, but during the ninth inning of that game, suffered a nerve injury in his pitching arm that would rob him of most of the following season. Tomko returned to the Majors in 2011 with the Rangers, making eight relief appearances while spending the rest of the season at Triple-A Round Rock.
Last season, Tomko’s career came full circle in a sense, re-signing with the team that originally drafted him, as he spent the majority of the campaign with Cincinnati’s Triple-A affiliate in Louisville. He ended the season in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization with Reno, helping the Aces claim the Triple-A National Championship over Repko’s Pawtucket Red Sox.
Tomko is the ninth player with Major League experience to sign a contract with the Revs for the 2013 season, the sixth with multiple seasons in the Majors, and the fifth who has appeared in the Majors in at least four seasons. He joins reliever Juan Rincon (10 seasons) as current Revs with at least a decade of big league time.
Batista returns to the Atlantic League for the first time since 2009. The switch-hitting shortstop combined to bat .308 for the Bridgeport Bluefish during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. A native of the Dominican Republic, Batista originally signed with the New York Mets in 2000, and ascended the Mets farm system to reach Triple-A New Orleans in 2007. The 32-year-old is a lifetime .272 hitter and has combined to bat .306 over his last five seasons.
The Revs now have 22 players under contract for the 2013 season which begins on Opening Night, April 18 at Sovereign Bank Stadium, when the Revs host the Bridgeport Bluefish at 6:30 p.m. Full-season, partial-season, and individual tickets are on sale now at YorkRevolution.com, (717) 801-HITS, and in-person at the Apple Chevrolet Ticket Office.
A little more on the Tomko signing – he and Repko are indeed close friends, and Repko played a role in helping lead Tomko to come to York. He has further Revs connections… he was a teammate of Halama with the Mariners in 2000 and 2001, and Halama believes Tomko will “carve” in this league. Tomko will be 40 come Opening Day, and Halama was a 13-game winner at age 40 last season, so he should know! Tomko was also a teammate of Wayne Franklin with the San Francisco Giants, Val Majewski with the Round Rock Express, Mike DeMark with the Reno Aces… it’s a small world. And not to give away material for my Game Notes this season, but here is the updated list of those in Revs history with at least a decade of big league time: Brett Tomko (14 years), Frank Castillo (13 years), Danny Bautista (12 years), Juan Rincon (10 years), Dave Veres (10 years). Tomko tops the list, as do his 100 MLB wins.