After having a fantastic season at age 43, Bartolo Colon is now a free agent and wants to return to the New York Mets, who should do all they can to retain possibly the most ageless and entertaining player in the game today.
Coming into the 2016 season with incredible young starting pitchers such as Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz in their rotation, nobody would have thought that the 43-year-old, Bartolo Colon, would end the season as possibly the New York Mets most productive starting pitcher.
However, with Harvey, deGrom, and Matz all going down with season-ending surgeries between the beginning of July and the end of August, Colon was the man in the Mets rotation who stepped up in a big way and even helped keep New York in the playoff race throughout the regular season.
In his 19th big league season, Colon went 15-8 with a 3.43 ERA and a strikeout to walk ratio of 4.00. His 128 strikeouts were the third-most by a 43-year old in major league history while “Big Sexy” has been a very valuable piece for the Mets ever since he signed with the team.
Since he inked a deal prior to the 2014 season, the righty has won at least 14 games and had an ERA lower than 4.20 in each of his last three seasons with the team.
Like he was after the 2015 season, Colon is now a free agent and is willing to return to the Mets for another season.
As long as everybody is healthy and doesn’t experience any setbacks, the Mets’ opening day starting rotation in 2017 is expected to consist of Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard, Matz, and Zach Wheeler, leaving Colon as the odd man out of the potential opening day rotation.
Even though he may not be in the starting rotation, if Colon is willing to pitch out of the bullpen, the Sandy Alderson should absolutely resign the ageless veteran for another year. After all, he could still be a key piece to the Mets pitching staff as a long reliever and spot starter.
Also, as every Mets fan saw in 2016, it is not guaranteed that the entire starting rotation will be healthy as injuries could happen to anybody at any given time in baseball. Re-signing Colon delivers the Mets starting rotation some reassurance in case the injury bug bites again.
Sure, Terry Collins could utilize 26-year old Seth Lugo and 23-year old Robert Gsellman in the case of injury, but if Bartolo Colon is willing to come back to the Mets and sign at a sensible price for a 43-year-old old-timer, it wouldn’t hurt the Mets at all bring the fan-favorite back to Flushing.