A’s may have the chance to fix the mistake they made with Bartolo Colon
There are rumors. That’s all they are however, rumors. The rumors are about everyone’s favorite pitcher. Back on May 8th of this year I wrote about this pitcher and the cult following he’s developed. It’s only developed recently, even though he’s played 19 seasons in the big leagues. Of course I am talking about Bartolo Colon.
Colon began developing a following during the 2013 season while playing in Oakland. At the age of 40 he put up numbers that were as good or better than the year he won the Cy Young in 2005. He finished the 2013 season having made his third all-star appearance, second in the AL wins with 18 and second in ERA, posting a 2.65.
It was after the 2013 season that the A’s made a colossal mistake. Colon wanted a two-year deal and the A’s offered him one. The New York Mets gave the almost 41-year-old his two-year deal and his celebrity really began to take off. People love watching him bat, run the bases and pitch.
In 2016, Colon was only supposed to be a part of the Mets’ starting rotation until Zack Wheeler had fully recovered from Tommy John surgery. Set-backs and mounting injuries to the team’s pitching staff, pretty much left Bartolo as the one Mets’ starter who made it through the entire season.
According to MetsBlog, Bartolo whose contract was up at the end of the season, is once again looking for a two-year deal. The Mets would prefer to give Colon another one year deal, supposedly. Now, as previously noted these are simply rumors with no statements from the Mets or Colon.
Mets’ manager Terry Collins has sung the praises of Colon and Colon does like pitching for the Mets, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. While that may be true, who knows what will happen once hot stove season hits. The claims that Colon wants a two-year deal and the Mets’ are more interested in a one-year deal have, as previously noted, not been substantiated, but it should make the Athletics think about the mistake they made in 2013.
Next season the Mets should have their young, dynamic starting rotation of Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz and Jacob deGrom back from injury. They may not be ready to go right at the start of the season but at some point during the season Colon would likely be moved to the bullpen.
Colon told the media back in August, according to MetsBlog, that he wanted to reach 243 career wins. That would top Juan Marichal, making Colon first all-time in wins for a Dominican-born player. He currently has 233 wins. Really he only needs one year to reach that goal considering that Colon has started at least 30 games in each of the past four seasons. He’s also topped 10 wins in each of the last five seasons.
He’s also been an all-star twice in the past four years. Prior to 2013, Colon had made the all-star game just twice. It’s as if he may be getting better with age. He finished 2016 at 15-8 while posting a 3.43 ERA.
Why not let him play two more years? He’s effective and we’ll see history made. While Colon would still be a good fit for New York, he would also be a great fit for Oakland.
Next season Oakland’s starting rotation should be good but shaky, filled with rookies with the exception of Sonny Gray. Gray had a rough 2016 season and there are no guarantees he’ll return to his 2015 form when he finished third in the Cy Young voting. The rest of the rotation will likely be a handful of youngsters. More than likely that group will be Kendall Graveman, Sean Manaea, Jharel Cotton and the fifth spot will more than likely go to the handlebar mustache wearing Daniel Mengden or Chris Bassitt, but he will be coming off of injury.
With the exception of Graveman and Gray, not one other member of the rotation will have spent an entire season in the majors. Mengden struggled quite a bit during the season going 2-9 with a 6.50 ERA, but the kid did still have his moments. Gray is questionable. No one is completely sure whether his struggles were physical or mental, although he did spend two stints on the DL in 2016.
With questionable spots in the rotation, why not go after Colon? Give him a two-year deal and add some proven stability to the rotation. Sure, Colon will be 44 years old in May but he is solid and quite honestly better than when he was 34. Jamie Moyer pitched, albeit partly out of the bullpen, until he was 49. These things are possible.
While the Mets might want Colon as a backup in the event one of their heralded starters has a set-back, Colon may have a better chance to start more often for Oakland. The other replacement for Mengden is Chris Bassitt who is also coming off of an injury and has no real big league track record.
The A’s are in the midst of a huge youth movement, but every youthful baseball team needs a couple of veterans to guide them. They’ve got Stephen Vogt but it wouldn’t hurt to have Bartolo Colon as well. I believe it would be beneficial and being one of the creators and first members of #TeamBartolo, I want him back.
The A’s should at least try to go after Colon. They may have a bit more to offer in the way of guaranteed starts, which is what he wants. They could even structure the contract to be a one-year deal with an option/buyout for a second year.
Now, I don’t know if Bartolo would be amenable to that kind of contract. After all, these rumors have no substantiation, but if the A’s get the chance they should chase Colon. It would be a boost for everyone in Oakland, players and fans, all of whom are fed up with the ownership and the talk of a new stadium that never gets built.
Having Bartolo back on the team would at the very least put a smile on the face of his biggest fan (ME!!!!) and perhaps provide a distraction from all the ….. well, there is no better way to put it – all the other bullsh*t!