With only today and tomorrow left for the Mets to try and swing a deal for Bartolo Colon, the buzz around baseball is, All Quiet on the Western Front.
To begin, Mets GM Sandy Alderson summed things up as follows on Thursday: “I would say right now there’s a lot less going on than some people speculate.”
Most of the early speculation pegged the Dodgers, Angels and Royals to be the best fits for the crafty veteran. But the Royals bowed out quickly, the Angels cited Luxury Cap issues and the Dodgers prefer to wait a week until Hyun-jin Ryu returns from the DL.
Andy Martino of the Daily News reported that just about any team who showed interest in Colon, were wary of his $11 million salary for 2015 but then really backed away when they learned Sandy Alderson wanted high-end prospects in return.
The Mets appear to be willing to eat about $2 million of the remaining salary on Colon’s contract, but that would only cover what he’s still owed this season.
FanGraphs paints the picture:
There are a lot of reasons not to like Bartolo Colon. He’s 41 years old. He has a 50-game suspension for synthetic testosterone in the recent past, and he underwent controversial stem cell treatments before that. He pitched a grand total of 257.1 innings in a span of five years between the ages of 33 and 37, and he still has $11 million coming to him for his age-42 season next year — along with the million-plus left on this year’s $9 million.
As I’ve been maintaining all along, I don’t see Colon being dealt until the offseason, if they deal him at all. I’m still not convinced they don’t hang onto Colon as a hedge against Harvey returning at full strength. That was why Alderson said he gave Colon that second guaranteed year in the first place.
Teams may be more willing to trade for Colon this Winter when they consider the alternatives in a very high-priced free agent market and potentially having to sacrifice a first round pick.
In that kind of environment, Colon would look like a value and the Mets would have more leverage in any talks for a deal. Doesn’t that make more sense than some of the hogwash that was circulating about letting Colon go for nothing – just a pure salary dump?