Bartolo Colon would 'be delighted' to re-sign with Mets, and the Mets should do it
All of their young pitchers have dealt with physical issues this season
Coming into the season, the Mets were considered World Series contenders thanks largely to their dynamite young rotation. They are loaded with power starters, and a staff like that is absolutely capable of carrying a club into the postseason. We saw it just last season.
The Mets are indeed in the postseason race right now, but their rotation plans have not worked out as hoped. Their six young starters have all dealt with some sort of physical issue in 2016. Look at the list:
- Matt Harvey: Season-ending Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.
- Zack Wheeler: Slow return from Tommy John surgery, now shut down for season.
- Steven Matz: Pitching with a bone spur in his elbow, now out with shoulder discomfort.
- Jacob deGrom: Missed time with lat strain, now out with forearm issue.
- Noah Syndergaard: Pitching with a bone spur in his elbow.
Despite all of that, the team's rotation comes into Monday with a 3.56 ERA, third best in baseball. Recent fill-ins Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo have pitched well, and there's also the ageless Bartolo Colon. He is 12-7 with a 3.35 ERA (120 ERA+) in 158 2/3 innings this season, which earned him a spot on the All-Star team.
Colon turned 43 in May and is very much year-to-year at this point. His future plans depend on his health and how he feels more than anything. Pitching is always in demand, so if Colon wants to pitch next year, he'll find a job. He doesn't want to go anywhere else though. Colon told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York he would be delighted to return to the Mets in 2017.
As for whether it seems to be becoming increasingly realistic that he could be a Mets starting pitcher again next season, when he will turn 44 years old in May, Colon added: "If they gave me the opportunity, I would be delighted to come back."
Is next season the final season?
"Who knows?" Colon said. "Next year could be my last."
It's worth noting Colon is sitting on 230 career wins, so next season he'll have a chance to catch Juan Marichal for the most wins by a Dominican pitcher (243) and Dennis Martinez for the most wins by a Latin American pitcher (245). It goes without saying reaching those milestones would be a huge honor. Colon sounds as though he'd like to give it a try next season.
As for the Mets, they have every reason in the world to bring Colon back. There are all those health concerns in their rotation, and they want to make sure they have depth. Also, Colon figures to sign a one-year contract, so he won't require a big commitment. Plus the Mets know him. There's no mystery here. That's always a plus.
For now the Mets are focused on the postseason race and catching the Cardinals for the second wild card spot. They don't want to have to start thinking about 2017 until after a long postseason run. Whenever the time comes, re-signing Colon is close to a no-brainer for the Mets. It's a perfect fit.
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