A Bartolo Colon-Mets reunion shouldn’t be in the cards

There were reports over the weekend in various sources, including MetsBlog, concerning the possibility of veteran pitcher Bartolo Colon returning to the Mets. It looks like the original source was an interview with Minnesota Twin pitcher Ervin Santana in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. Santana said Colon told him that he would like to pitch in 2018 with the goal of winning at least six more games, so the he could become the winningest Latin American pitcher of all time, and he would like to do it with the Mets. Dennis Martinez currently holds the record with 245 wins, while Colon has amassed 240 wins in MLB.

Colon has pitched for 20 years in MLB for ten different teams, including a successful stint with the Mets from 2014-2016. Colon contributed to the Mets pennant winning team of 2015 (he started opening day that year) and their wild card 2016 team.

In 2017 he signed with Atlanta, and the results were terrible. In 13 games his won-loss record was 2-8, with an 8.14 ERA in 43 IP. All those games were starts, so he was averaging a little over three innings per start. He spent the second part of the year with Minnesota. His record there was 5-6 with an ERA of 5.18 in 15 games (all starts) with 80 IP logged. That was an improvement over his numbers with the Braves, but still those were ugly stats.

If Colon does pitch again this year, it will be his age 45 season. Considering both his age and his dreadful 2017, he would be considered a longshot to have much upside in 2018.

Note also his desire to pitch again in MLB seems to stem not from a desire to help a team win but for a more selfish reason, specifically the desire to win six more games so he can claim the honor of being the winningest ever Latin American MLB pitcher. A few pitchers have pitched in MLB as old as Colon will be, but usually they have relied on a specialty pitch like a knuckleball. Colon still throws mostly fastballs.

The Mets should be looking for players to help them win games. They don’t need players who are focused on a personal agenda. This reminds me too much of the questionable approach Bill Veeck and the White Sox took toward Minnie Minoso when he was activated for a few games in 1976 at age 50 and again in 1980 when he was 54. Because Minoso had first played in MLB in 1949, this gave him a sort of record of having played in MLB ball in five different decades. That smacked of gimmickry, and the case could be made that Colon’s quest has some similarities.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson was asked about the Mets pitching staff in September of last year. He said, concerning additions to the staff, that a “Bartolo Colon type” would be something he could consider. Notice he didn’t say Bartolo Colon, but a Bartolo Colon type. I’m pretty sure he meant a pitcher who was like the pre-2017 Colon, not like the one who pitched last year.

11 comments for “A Bartolo Colon-Mets reunion shouldn’t be in the cards

  1. Michael B
    January 23, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Please. Are you saying that every pitcher’s primary goal is to help the team win? Nice sound bite but they are there to build up their record and be paid accordingly. Financially he should be set so Bartolo is there to pick up 6 more wins.
    If he is more than affordable I would definitely consider resigning him. Last year proved you can’t have enough pitching. If all works out with our starters then I would put him in the BP. Unlike Wheeler, BC can throw strikes.

  2. TJ
    January 23, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Agreed in general. However, if all Colon can get is a non-roster invitation, I see no reason why they shouldn’t extent one. At age 45, the likelihood that he can get MLB outs is quite low, but the old adage that you can’t ever have enough pitching is universal and especially applies to the Mets…so long as there are no guarantees or spots on the 40-man, I’m fine with the Big Sexy in camp seeing what he has left.

    • John Fox
      January 23, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      TJ, I can agree with that, as long as, like you say, there is no guarantee of a 40 man roster slot for him.

  3. Mike Walczak
    January 23, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    For virtually no money, they can invite him to spring training. It is worth a shot. Worst case, he gets cut and hangs up his cletes.

    • Name
      January 23, 2018 at 4:36 pm

      That’s not the worst case. Worst case is that he makes the team over someone more worthy and produces a 9+ ERA and provides negative value to the team.

      More options isn’t a good thing because i don’t trust this regime to make the right choice. Eg: Given the option between cake and veggies, everyone knows that veggies are the healthier option yet a good portion still choose cake.

      Fatty and all his records which he cheated to get need to be forgotten and thrown away in disgrace.

      • Chris F
        January 23, 2018 at 9:48 pm

        well said Name.

      • TJ
        January 23, 2018 at 11:10 pm

        True. On caveat I would add is that I have more confidence in trusting the roster decisions this spring being that Callaway/Eiland, while lacking some familiarity, can bring some independent objectivity to assessing all the pitchers. This will be extremely important on deciding who fills the 3-4-5 slots, especially if for some crazy reason everyone is healthy.

  4. Metsense
    January 23, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    There are eight potential starters for the Mets and only Harvey had a higher FIP in 2017 than Colon. There is no need to add Colon to the mix even as a non roster spring training invitee.

  5. Mike Walczak
    January 23, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    So, let’s see. So far, almost the same roster as last year. Excluding Bruce, they added the dynamic duo of Swarzak and Gonzalez. The “hope” is that the pitchers will stay healthy. Since when is hope a strategy. When did the Mets win? When they had innings eater Bartolo Colon. Wouldn’t it be great to have another innings eater in 2018? Realistically, to really compete, the Mets really could use a true leadoff hitter and a good starter who eats innings. Bartolo can eat a lot, but not innings. Maybe Nimmo can continue to blossom. So, let’s go out and add Lance Lynn.

  6. Eraff
    January 24, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    In the Words of Consuela: “No, no, no, no, no!!!!”

  7. MattyMets
    January 27, 2018 at 11:06 am

    I like the idea of inviting a veteran starter to ST on a non guarantee, but not Bart or any of the other guys playing Springsteen’s Glory Days in a loop. Lincecum, Peavy, Danks, even Santana.

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