It was fun watching Bartolo Colon on Wednesday afternoon.
And no, I’m not talking about him legging out a double and scoring from second base moments later when Eric Young Jr. knocked him in with his own double.
Ok, maybe I am. After all, Colon is fun to watch run the bases.
No, Wednesday was all about Colon’s mastery on the mound. After a lead-off home run by Matt Carpenter, Colon would settle in and blank the Cardinals the rest of the way while pitching eight innings and allowing just the one run on four hits (no walks). And the thing is, he could have kept going, as he only threw 86 pitches but Terry Collins did not want to, I guess you can say “overheat” Colon on a hot St. Louis day. The Mets would barely hold on to win the game, as Dana Eveland came in to record the final out of the game, getting lefty Matt Adams to ground out.
Colon is now 7-5 on the year to go with a 3.88 ERA (it was, remember, 5.84 after his May 12 start against the Yankees) and 1.20 WHIP. With Wednesday’s start, Colon now has five quality outings in his last six starts (and he would have had another if he got one more out in his June 7 start in San Francisco). In that time, he has given up just eight earned runs in 43.1 innings pitched, while allowing just 22 hits and eight walks.
Basically, Colon is starting to do what he was signed in the offseason to do and that was go deep in games, throw quality starts while stabilizing the Mets’ rotation—especially with Matt Harvey lost for the year. After a rough start, Colon is finally starting to heat up with the corresponding summer weather.
The question now remains, what will his role and value be heading forward?
With the Mets in last place in the NL East and eight games under .500, what value does Colon have with the Mets especially when for the most part they are built on youth. Obviously, the Mets will aim to keep getting better and perhaps with Dillon Gee coming back from the DL, as well as Juan Lagares, and the eventual recall of an improved Travis d’Arnaud, maybe the Mets will make a surge with a healthy, productive crew.
However, even the most optimistic Mets’ fan will tell you the playoffs are not likely within reach. With that said, maybe the Mets should do what a lot of people expected them to do when they signed Colon and that is flip him at the deadline.
With an affordable $20 million two-year contract, Colon wont be all that costly in a trade and perhaps a team in contention could use his services more than the Mets can. At 41, Colon is not one who is going to stick around for the long haul. On the other hand, and to play devil’s advocate, maybe Colon can stick around next year and join Harvey and Noah Syndergaard and make up one hell of a rotation.
However, it’s been stated here before plenty of times, but the Mets have at least eight solid staff arms ready to contribute next year in Colon, Harvey, Gee, Jonathon Niese, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Rafael Montero and the rehabbing Jeremy Hefner. We’ve been saying it ad nauseam, but sooner or later the Mets need to trade some of their excess pitching and Colon could be at the top of the list.
It’s uncertain what kind of haul they can get for Colon, but if the Mets keep spiraling out of control and Colon cruises along, it’s something they may just have to explore. For the time being, it’s nice to see Colon get going while temporarily stopping the bleeding on Wednesday.
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7 comments on “What’s the value of Bartolo Colon heading forward?”
Package him up with Bobby Abreu.
Let’s load up on magic beans. We haven’t nearly enough – we can always give up productive major league players for the promise of a better tomorrow.
Sandy “Scarlett” Alderson.
I’m okay with trading Colon but I’m not okay with giving him away because he’s old and we have a lot of young guys.
He’s made 14 starts this year and he’s been awful in three of them and those outings are obscuring how good he’s been. Overall he got his ERA under 4 yesterday but he’s been so much better than that. In his 11 non-terrible starts, he’s 7-3 with a 2.09 ERA.
Of course, anyone looks good when you remove their three-worst games. But I’d be just a bit surprised if there were 20 pitchers in the league who had better numbers than Colon once you took away their three-worst.
For example, Jason Hammel is 17th in the NL in ERA with a 3.02 mark. You take away his three-worst and he has a 2.10 ERA.
So, if the Mets deal him, I would expect a return as if he was around a top-20 starter. I figure his age is neutralized by his reasonable contract. Whether another team feels that way is up for debate.
The return will be muted by two strangely competing facts. He’s 41, there is justifiable concern about a “sell by” date. At the opposite end?— you’re trading for just a year and a half–again…too much time…too little time.
The normal Top 20 Pitcher would be younger and “extendable” to 3 years or so.
Niese might return more because he’s younger with a tremendously reasonaable extended deal going forward. I don’t “love Niese”— but he’s a professional lefty at 5 million a year…a real bargain!!
Colon’s role going forward is a starting pitcher in the rotation. If you removed him from the rotation for the sake of starting a younger pitcher then you would be bringing his value down. ( and quite frankly he has been the best pitcher over the past month so you wouldn’t do that).His value is whatever the market will pay and Sandy’s strength is extracting the best prospects he can possibly get.
If the Mets are not competing by the deadline I would look to trade him and have faith in Sandy that he wouldn’t make a bad deal. The other advantage at that point, is that 11M of budgeted money can now be used elsewhere in 2015.
This has been the problem with these vets for prospect trades, the saved money is not put back into the team. Just think if they took Beltran’s money and applied it to the payroll and still got Wheeler. Heck, if they would have taken Byrd and Bucks 6M total and applied it to this years payroll that could have helped. That is the formula for trading vets in lost seasons. Vets = prospects + money for free agents. The Wilpon’s only do half the job.
I’m going to spitball here. Colon is producing right now at 4 WAR. I think based on that, we can project 2015 as a wash. IOW, he’s reasonably sure to get you a little more than 1 WAR next year.
There is value, of course, in being assured that $10MM in 2015 is being reasonably spent but let’s put that aside. We can’t consider that as “savings” to the Mets (if anything, its a cost).
So to this point you have almost already received $10MM in WAR from Colon (he’s at .9, he might get to 1.2 by his next start) .He’s going to produce another 3 WAR for someone else. That is “worth” $21MM.
The excess value of Colon, to me, is a pretty darned good hitter in AAA. Not a sure thing, but close. I’d move him for Cron, but little else.
The Won’tpons are doing the whole job, they just define the formula differently. For them, it’s:
Vets = prospects + money in the bank
trade him to the Yankees for one or two of their lower-minors dream-on prospects. Dante Bichette Jr, Cito Culver, Eric Jagielo to name a few.