With the New York Mets seemingly falling further and further out of contention this season, the likelihood of the team jettisoning some veteran players at the trade deadline becomes more and more likely. Daniel Murphy has been the most popular name mentioned but a more recent name on the list is Bartolo Colon.
Colon was the Mets’ big pitching acquisition this offseason when the team signed him to a 2-year, $20 million deal. However, for a team that has several young pitchers on the brink and two or three more coming back from injury, is there space for a 40+ year old starter? If the Mets are still one or two years away from making the playoffs, then realistically there is no reason for them to keep Colon around instead of grooming their younger talent.
Former GM Jim Bowden thinks the Mets could receive a good, upper-level prospect in exchange for Colon. If that is the case, the Mets would likely look into strong offensive infield prospects.
Reports list the Yankees, Blue Jays, Angels, Orioles, Brewers, Indians, Pirates and Mariners all as interested parties. Over the past two seasons the Mets have already made one huge deal with the Blue Jays (R.A. Dickey, Josh Thole, Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud were exchanged among others) and two separate deals for Pirates prospects (Marlon Byrd and John Buck for Dilson Herrera and Vic Black last season and Ike Davis for Zack Thornton and Blake Taylor in April). There was also talk this offseason about a trade with Seattle because of their two impressive young shortstops, Brad Miller and Nick Franklin.
All eight teams mentioned will be looking for the final piece to push them into the playoffs. Colon as a 17-year veteran, has ten postseason starts in his career with a 3.70 ERA and a 2-4 record.
This season Colon is 8-7, which is the most wins on the team, with an ERA of 4.04. However he is 6-2 in his last ten games and went on a stretch of 7 consecutive impressive, quality starts. It’s fair to say that his ERA was inflated by a couple rough outings, most notably his start in Anaheim. He also has 82 strikeouts compared to only 17 walks. This is part of what makes Colon so consistent in his career, he throws strikes all the time. He doesn’t create trouble innings for himself and he makes hitters put the ball in play.
If he is traded there will likely be one thing Colon won’t miss if he heads back to the American League (six of the eight rumored suitors are in the AL) is hitting though it’s certain we would all miss watching it.
While Colon has been a good veteran presence for pitchers like Zack Wheeler and Jacob deGrom, perhaps his greatest contribution to the Mets will be what he provides for the future, a slugging infield prospect.