The signing of Bartolo Colon is an intriguing one. It sends the message that the Mets aren’t throwing in the towel for 2014 with Matt Harvey being out for the season. It’s a huge (sorry, had to throw that in) signing. It means that we’ve added a solid starter that gives us four really good pitchers in the rotation going into opening day.
We now have Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, and Colon to start the season. That’s a foursome that will allow us to compete. This also creates a good competition for the number five starter this spring with Rafael Montero and Jenrry Mejia in the mix along with whomever else Sandy brings in. This allows who doesn’t win the job out of spring training time to continue to develop in the minors. This allows us to have extra depth when someone eventually goes down.
This also allows for the opportunity for Wheeler to pitch the whole season and not to be shut down early. If the Mets aren’t in contention, they can go to a six (or even seven) man rotation down the stretch to limit the innings of Wheeler – and Montero and Syndergaard to boot.
As far as the crazy notion of giving a 40-year old pitcher that looks like some of the fans in the stands a two-year deal, it’s not as crazy as it may seem, PED history issues aside. He’s coming off two good seasons. He eats innings (I won’t insert another joke there, too easy). And if he gets busted for PED’s again, he’s looking at a 100 game suspension, which lops off the financial investment. Even if he’s a complete and total bust, it’s only a two year commitment.
And what about when Harvey comes back next season? Sure, it will be a crowded rotation. Having Colon here for the start of the 2015 season when he’s 41 will give Harvey the opportunity to ease back in and even come back in late April or early May if need be.
Bartolo can also be dangled as trade bait if he still has something left, or if the team is in serious contention in 2015 (as I’m expecting them to be), he’ll add additional depth and a great long guy to come out of the pen as a reinforcement for the pennant race.
The team is better than they were a week ago. They’ve added offense. They’ve added a proven RBI man in Granderson who will protect David Wright in the lineup. They have pieces in place. Their offense is improved. Their rotation is improved and has depth. Their bullpen has promise.
They’re not a laughingstock anymore. Am I expecting playoffs next season? No. But we’re on our way…