Keeping Bartolo Colon might be the best move

Bartolo ColonWith the Mets placing Bartolo Colon on revocable waivers Saturday, the possibility of trading their pitcher is becoming real. Although Colon is signed throughout the 2015 season, many fans are calling for the righty to be traded, but the right decision may be holding onto the pitcher.

So far throughout this season, Colon has pitched to an 11-10 record, 3.85 ERA, 125 strikeouts and 21 walks in 161.1 innings. With an average of 6.7 innings per start, Colon has provided durability, and is on pace to start 30 games by the end of the season. Not a bad season for a 41-year-old. These numbers have made Colon attractive for contending teams this season, but are there any worthwhile pieces for the Mets to acquire?

The Los Angeles Angels are the favorite team to acquire Colon, especially considering the injury Garrett Richards suffered last week. Richards will be out for 6-9 months and the Angels are searching for someone in order to keep pace with Oakland. Wade LeBlanc has struggled in his last two starts, making Colon very appealing.

Kole Calhoun and C.J. Cron have intrigued armchair general managers, but Calhoun is too valuable if the Angels are going to make a run this season, so the likeliness of him being traded is slim. Granted the Mets would love to acquire Calhoun, but that is too much to ask for in return. Cron has had a nice season, and with Albert Pujols locked into either the 1B/DH role, Cron may be expendable. With Duda hitting .156 against lefties this year, acquiring Cron may make a deadly 1B platoon for the Mets.

While there may be a couple of other teams wanting Colon, it may make sense for the Mets to wait until the offseason to make a deal. It has been written many times that the Mets’ surplus of pitching will lead them to acquiring a big-time bat that will help the lineup. The pitching rotation may have some question marks for next season, as Dillon Gee has had a 4.50 ERA in his last 10 starts and cooled off ever since coming off the DL. Jon Niese has allowed 68 hits, and walked 19 batters in his last 57 innings. Niese is getting hit hard, even though his last three starts are considered quality starts. deGrom looks like a solid pitcher, but may experience growing pains in his sophomore year, Wheeler has taken a step forward since the All-Star break, and who knows the type of pitcher Matt Harvey will be entering 2015.

Some of the younger pitchers who have a strong chance of making the 2015 rotation have either struggled in AAA, or have struggled during their call-ups to the majors. Therefore having a consistent pitcher, like Colon, return in 2015 is not the worst decision. With double-digit wins, and over 160 innings pitched, Colon could help the team win next season, and who knows how much more he can produce. His crafty accuracy and well-placed fastballs keep hitters uncomfortable, and enables the Mets to have depth next year.

Even with his $11 million salary next season, the veteran provides insurance, knowledge and experience. Cron may be the most likely acquisition for the Mets, but the impact he would have is being a platoon player, as he has only played 1B in the minors and majors. It is extremely possible that Colon may be dealt, but don’t be disappointed in the Mets if he remains with the team for the season. After all, he has won double-digit games the past three seasons, and has had an ERA below 4.00.

13 comments for “Keeping Bartolo Colon might be the best move

  1. August 24, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    James the Mets cannot afford to have 54 million dollars tied up n 4 players (Niese, Wright. Granderson and Colon). Please take into account that the Mets have 10 players eligible for arbitration. Duda and Murphy are going to get substantial raises. better to apply that 11 million for an upgrade at SS or LF. Just a rough estimate on those Arb. hearings gives you 27 million dollars. Add 11 minimum salaries and you get close to 90 million dollars and Zero room for any upgrades you may need elsewhere.

    • Jerry Grote
      August 24, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      salaries are only half the equation, pete. You can “afford” to put as many dollars as you’d like into four players if their names are Cabrera, Kershaw, Trout and McCutcheon if you are spending $60MM a year on the four of them.

      The question on Colon is whether or not you can realistically replace his wins at the same price point.

      Look at those four names you’ve mentioned. The two players that aren’t carrying their contract are Wright and Granderson. The pitchers are doing their job. Keep the wheat, discard the chafe.

    • James Newman
      August 25, 2014 at 7:05 pm

      Even though 90 million may seem like a lot, I would hope that the Mets could find someone to help out at either SS or LF for less than 10 million. Still don’t understand why a New York market team is making an effort to spend under 100 million. As Jerry and I stated, the Mets’ pitching is doing well, and Colon has been dependable throughout the year. With so many question marks heading into next season, I’m hoping Colon stays and can be even better than this year.

  2. August 24, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Agree. but Granderson has 45 million remaining for 3 years. Unless the Mets were to eat a portion of it I don’t see anyone knocking down SA’s door for him. Wright has 95 million for the next 5 seasons. What can the FO do? I think they’re stuck with that and I can’t see them justifying trading him.

  3. Rich Holmes
    August 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    If the Mets gave Colon up for a bag of baseballs I don’t think they would be maximizing his value. Everybody needs pitching and waiting until the off season may net a greater return.

    • James Newman
      August 25, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      Exactly what I was thinking. The Mets need a piece that will help them compete in the future. Cron may be able to do that, but he only could provide offense at 1B when Duda isn’t playing. I’d rather get someone who can play LF or SS to help out the team.

      • Chris F
        August 25, 2014 at 8:02 pm

        You might get some spare parts, but there’s zero chance a 41 yo Colon gets dealt this winter for actual mlb-proven talent. I think his best bet still is to get traded this season by a team that’s desperate, and for which a solid mid rotation arm could get a few good starts in. The fight for the second wild cards is something else, and teams that will be soooo close may very well be ready to play let’s make a deal.

  4. Wilponzi
    August 24, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Can Cron play the outfield?

    • Jerry Grote
      August 24, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      My understanding is that Cron is a hitter. He’s not Mike Morse/Lucas Duda in LF, but if improvement for him means he gets to be average.

  5. TexasGusCC
    August 25, 2014 at 1:29 am

    The problem with the Mets is that they never had the guts to do a full rebuild because they are afraid of fan backlash. However, Granderson was the mistake here, and CY was a lesser mistake. A MDD/ Brown platoon instead of CY, and signing a 33 year old for four years on a young team was foolish. Instead of Granderson, signing a Morse or Kubel for a one year deal, or maybe trying to get a 25 HR hitter like maybe Ethier.

    In consequence, the Colon contract is not a problem; he is worth it. Had the Mets been smarter about allocating funds rather than trying to make a splash, they would have been fine. But then, any New York team crying about its payroll deserves to be left to play in front of empty stadiums.

    • Patrick Albanesius
      August 25, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      “In consequence, the Colon contract is not a problem; he is worth it. Had the Mets been smarter about allocating funds rather than trying to make a splash, they would have been fine. But then, any New York team crying about its payroll deserves to be left to play in front of empty stadiums.”

      I agree 98%. Granderson wasn’t generally viewed as a bad signing during the off-season. Had he not been signed, there were very few other options left for the Mets. The fan base would have gone berserk about SA not doing anything in the off-season. Unfortunately, your last statement is the most accurate, and we really have no one to blame for that but the ones who gets fleeced by their supposed friend.

  6. Rob
    August 25, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    My thinking was along the lines of keeping Colon until today. I saw on another site that the Dodgers are also interested in Colon. Let’s hope for their spare outfielder (I think his name is Van Slyke and he looks like a fit). Good power and can play left. My hope is for us to get him, play him in left for the rest of the year. Maybe we fill that hole in our lineup.

  7. August 26, 2014 at 12:31 am

    I am not an advocate for the Mets skimming on their payroll. The Mets play in the number one market in all of baseball. But I am a realist. The Wilpons are here until enough Met fans voice their displeasure by boycotting every home game and send a clear message. Watch the games on television or listen on the radio but stay away from Citifield! James quite a few teams applied some portion of their additional 25 million from the new MLB television contracts. Your Mets applied Zero! And have actually reduced their payroll from the previous year! Talk about the Marlins! If the Mets had a 100 million dollar budget they could have applied a portion of that money for a sorely needed upgrade at SS.

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