Reports: Colon, 43, agrees to sign with Braves for one year, $12.5 million
The ageless wonder will turn 44 years old next season
Colon was 15-8 with a 3.43 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 128 strikeouts in 191 2/3 innings last season for the Mets, who were said to be aggressively trying to keep him.
Instead, Colon joins the Braves one day after another 40-plus year-old pitcher, R.A. Dickey. They join Julio Teheran atop the Braves rotation with lots of youngsters behind them. There are also a lot of pitching prospects, but Colon and Dickey give the Braves a chance to get a lot of veteran innings without rushing or pushing the young arms.
Another thing to consider here is that if the Braves fall comfortably out of the race by mid-July while Colon and/or Dickey are pitching well, there's a distinct chance one or both of these signings are "sign-and-flip" to help in the rebuilding efforts. It certainly can't hurt to have this option.
Colon will turn 44 years old next May. There have only been 19 pitchers in MLB history to start a game at the big-league level in their age-44 season or older (it happened 43 different times but many of the pitchers are on the list multiple times, via baseball-reference.com play index). The oldest to ever start was Hall of Famer Satchel Paige at 58, so Bartolo isn't even close to the record. Most recently, we saw Jamie Moyer make a start in his age-49 season, making him the second-oldest ever.
In his career, Colon will now have pitched for nine teams. He's 233-162 with a 3.93 ERA and 2365 strikeouts in 3172 1/3 innings. He's been an All-Star four times, with a spread of 1998 to 2016 on that front. He really spaced them out, huh?
Something to watch from a historic standpoint: Hall of Famer Juan Marichal has 243 wins, which is the most ever by a player born in the Dominican Republic. Colon is second with 233.
As for the Mets, they still have five high-upside arms less than 29 years old in Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. Colon was their reliable innings eater in case of injury -- and that group saw plenty of injuries in 2016 -- but there's also Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman, who helped the Mets immensely down the stretch.
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