Even though he is 44 years old and is having the worst season of his career, Bartolo Colon might actually be able to help the New York Mets.
On Thursday, Colon was designated for assignment by the Atlanta Braves. His brief tenure with the Braves was nothing short of disastrous. In 13 starts, Colon was 2-8 with an ERA of 8.14. He allowed 57 earned runs in 63 innings pitched. His last start for Atlanta was on Wednesday against the San Diego Padres. Colon surrendered six earned runs over four innings of work. This was the last straw for the Braves, and they decided to cut Colon the next day.
This was not what the Braves envisioned when they signed Colon to a one-year, $12.5 million deal this past offseason. The idea was that he would be a nice veteran arm to add to their starting rotation. Even though Colon is getting up there in age, he has still managed to be an effective pitcher over the past few seasons. Unfortunately for the Braves, he finally started to decline this year.
Under normal circumstances, it would not make a lot of sense to sign a 44-year-old pitcher who has an ERA over 8.00. However, Colon has a history with the Mets. His tenure with the team was relatively successful. The Mets signed him to a two-year contract prior to the 2014 season. In his first year with the Mets, Colon went 15-13 with a 4.09 ERA. He had similar numbers in 2015, going 14-13 with an ERA of 4.16.
After two decent seasons, the Mets decided to re-sign Colon for one more year. It turned out to be a smart move, as he had the best season of his Mets tenure in 2016. Colon went 15-8 with a 3.43 ERA last year. He was also an All-Star for the fourth time in his career. Ironically, his most memorable moment during the 2016 season actually came at the plate. Colon hit his first career home run in a game against the San Diego Padres on May 7. He became the oldest player in major league history to hit his first career homer. Colon was 42 years old at the time.
Mets fans immediately took a liking to Colon. Despite his age and the fact that he weighs 285 pounds, he was still able to be a decent starting pitcher for the team. Fans particularly loved watching his at-bats, as it is very entertaining to watch someone of his size try and hit. That is why it was such a surprise when he hit a home run. Colon was a fan favorite in Flushing. He even was given the nickname, “Big Sexy” while playing with the Mets.
If all of the Mets starting pitchers were healthy, then re-signing Colon would not really be necessary. However, they have been decimated by injuries this season. The team’s ace, Noah Syndergaard, has been sidelined since late April because of a torn lat muscle in his right arm. Matt Harvey is on the disabled list with a stress fracture of his scapula bone in his right shoulder. Zack Wheeler just spent a stint on the DL due to biceps tendinitis in his right arm. Robert Gsellman was just recently placed on the 10-day DL because of a strained left hamstring.
Because of all of these injuries, the Mets could really benefit from brining in a veteran like Colon. It’s a low-risk, high-reward situation. If he pitches like he did with the Braves, then the Mets could just release him. However, if he performs like he did the last time he was with the Mets, the rotation would get a nice boost.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson should really think about bringing back Colon. He is reportedly on the team’s radar right now. The fans would love the move, and Colon might actually be able to help the team out. It is certainly an idea that the Mets should strongly consider over the next few days.