The Twins signed 44-year-old Bartolo Colon to a minor league deal Friday, giving the journeyman pitcher another chance to extend a major league career that began in 1997.

Colon, a 235-game winner, went 2-8 with an 8.14 ERA with Atlanta before getting designated for assignment last week.

“We felt like there were some signals that the stuff was similar to what it had been in years’ past, but maybe a little bit unlucky,” said Derek Falvey, the Twins chief baseball officer.

Colon will report to Class AAA Rochester. The Braves must pay the bulk of Colon’s $12.5 million, and the Twins will only pay a pro-rated portion of the major league minimum ($535,000) if he is added to the major league roster.

A four-time All-Star and the 2005 American League Cy Young winner for the Angels, Colon continued to defy his age, going 44-34 with a 3.90 ERA over the previous three seasons for the New York Mets. He made the NL All-Star team last year.

“I know he wants to pitch more than just the rest of this year,” Falvey said. “He loves baseball. He’s looking at this as an opportunity.”

Joe Christensen