At 44-years old, Bartolo Colon is on the open market once again. The burley right-hander was released by the Atlanta Braves on Friday after a hideous start to the season. His numbers read as follows: 2-8, with an ERA of 8.14, 11 home runs allowed, 57 earned runs allowed in 63 innings.
Still the New York Mets are said to be "considering" reuniting with Colon inspite of it all. Make no mistake for three years, Colon was one of the Mets' most dependable starters. Even in times where they were watching the like of Matt Harvey and Steven Matz drop out of the rotation with one injury after another, Colon was the one guy Terry Collins could rely on. Last season alone, Colon was 15-8 with a 3.43 ERA at age 43.
He even uncorked his first and only career home run in San Diego last summer.
So a reunion has to happen, right?
There is reason to believe the Mets are considering it. According to the Daily News, a Mets "source" said "'Get him back here and working with Dan Wharthen and see where he's at. It couldn't hurt to try him in the bullpen. It's not like we'd be upsetting anything.'"
Not sure who these Mets sources are, but that is a true condemnation of the entire bullpen if this is a true statement.
Colon was very important to the Mets the past three years, not only on the mound but as a mentor to the young players in the clubhouse. His presence in the clubhouse would be a welcome sight to the players.
But it's time for Colon and the Mets to realize that his playing career is likely over. A startling ERA and clear drop in mechanics at age 44 should signal that it is time for Big Bart to hang 'em up. Not to mention, the Mets true focus should be on getting younger, and actually improving the bullpen with guys that can help this team this season and beyond. Colon does not offer that potential.
At 37-42 the Mets are in a position where they must determine by the All-Star Break whether they are going to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline, and if all reports are true, they are leaning toward selling. By doing so, the Mets are giving up on this season. Adding Colon to the bullpen now would be counterproductive to that strategy.
This does not mean that Colon can't help the Mets now and in the future. The players love Colon. The Mets could and should sign Colon to a one-day contract so he can retire a Met. Then, they can go ahead and make him an ambassador to the team to work with the young guys as they come up to majors; or maybe they can send him to Brooklyn to help Edgardo Alfonzo work with the kids. Then come 2018, the Mets could add Colon to the coaching staff of the major league roster.
A Bartolo Colon reunion with the Mets? Sure. But, not as a pitcher.