Back in September, General Manager Sandy Alderson told reporters that the New York Mets would look for a “Bartolo Colon type” pitcher to give their rotation some depth. Colon was highly valued as a member of the Mets for his ability to eat innings and mentor the team’s young pitchers, qualities the Mets sorely lacked when their rotation fell apart last season. Alderson backed off that initial statement in free agency, but some Mets’ fans wondered if simply bringing back Colon would help solve the problem. Colon has been open to coming back to the Mets and recently told former Minnesota Twins’ teammate Ervin Santana that the team has expressed interest in a reunion, Mike Berardino of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports.
The Twins picked up Colon last summer after he was released by the Atlanta Braves. Colon pitched much better in Minnesota, going 5-6 with a 5.18 ERA in 15 starts to help pitch them into a Wild Card spot. Santana mentioned that Colon, 45, wants to win six more games and then retire. Those six wins would move Colon past Dennis Martinez for the most wins ever by a pitcher born in Latin America.
In terms of a fit with the Mets, this move would be better than nothing for them. Colon pitched much worse in 2017 than he did in his previous three seasons with the Mets, but he still made 28 starts for the Braves and Twins. Jacob deGrom was the only Mets’ starter to make more starts than Colon, who can be counted on for a rubber arm. Colon has also shown the ability to work out of the bullpen in the past, notably with the Mets in the 2015 postseason. A return to pitcher friendly Citi Field would also help Colon, who looked notably lost in the launching pad that is SunTrust Park. The Mets are probably still better off looking for a younger pitcher with more in the tank, like Jaime Garcia or Jason Vargas, but if they don’t want to spend a ton of money Colon makes sense.