Bill Shakin of the Los Angeles Times shared some insight on all the Bartolo Colon to the Los Angeles Angels buzz from a west coast perspective:
In order to fill Richards’ spot in the rotation, the Angels could consider two New York Mets pitchers — Jon Niese (7-8, 3.50), who reportedly has cleared waivers, and Bartolo Colon (11-10, 3.85). According to the ERA+ statistic, Niese is a league-average pitcher, Colon a below-average pitcher.
Colon, 41, is owed $12.5 million through 2015. Niese, 27, is owed $18 million through 2016.
The Mets could let Colon go on waivers, sticking the Angels with the entire $12.5 million bill. Of course, since every other team knows the Angels need a starter, all it would take is one team to claim him and block the Angels from getting him.
The Oakland Athletics probably would want to keep Colon out of Anaheim — and, by having the best record in the American League, the Angels get last priority in claiming National League players.
Colon was activated from the bereavement list on Friday, fueling speculation that the Mets may try to sneak him through waivers with a week left until time runs out.
The better question is why didn’t the Mets place Colon on waivers in early August like most everyone else? What did they gain by holding off?
One other thing to ponder is Jon Niese… If he already cleared waivers, maybe he’s the one the Mets should trade?
Reportedly, the Angels are willing to swap major league pieces for a starting pitcher so it wouldn’t have to be for a prospect package. And lets face it, the Angels have nothing in their minor league system that would appeal to the Mets. Their cupboard is bare.
I really love the 26-year old Calhoun and he has a nice lefthanded power stroke. In 356 at-bats this season, he’s batting .289/.344/.478 with 24 doubles and 13 home runs. He’s also scored 65 runs, driven in 43, and has been very adept on the basepaths and in the field.
I’m sure the Angels would prefer to hang onto Calhoun, but these are desperate times for the Angels and their roster isn’t getting any younger.
24-year old first baseman C.J. Cron is another option. The former 2011 first-rounder also has a big power stroke but swings righthanded. He’d be a nice compliment for Lucas Duda at first. He tore right through the Angels system and is holding his own this season, batting .266/.296/.462 in 199 at-bats. He still has time to grow, but he certainly looks like he belongs.
The point is that the Mets have options here, and everything doesn’t have to hinge on Colon passing through waivers.
If you could unload Granderson and Niese and come away with Calhoun, and then trade Colon in the offseason, it’s like getting a do-over.
Not only do we clear $65 million in payroll, but we head into the offseason with Calhoun entrenched in RF and a whole bunch of cash to address shortstop and left field.
I’m pretty sure that neither Calhoun or Cron have passed through waivers, so if this was doable most likely the Mets would have to wait until after the season to reap their rewards.
It’s certainly something to ponder… And you know me… I love to ponder…