With 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.