Sometime this winter, GM Sandy Alderson will have to make a decision – yes or no – on several players. Bartolo Colon will be one of them, and when he does, I hope he remembers today.
With the Mets in dire need of a victory Saturday afternoon to pull them out of their most recent funk, Colon was magnificent working into the seventh in beating the Giants, 9-5.
Colon is now 11-7, including 6-1 after a loss. That’s well worth the $11 million he makes this season. There are a lot of numbers used to evaluate a pitcher, but record after a loss is especially significant.
Will the Mets bring Colon back for a fourth season? I don’t know. Should they? I think so, and not for the comic relief, which is another way of saying he alleviates tension, and there certainly has been a lot of that this year.
Colon gave up two runs on nine hits with five strikeouts in 6.1 innings. Of his 25 starts, he’s worked into the sixth 16 times and into the seventh nine times.
Did I mention he’s 43?
The Mets brought Colon back for this season with the idea of moving him to the bullpen in July when it was hoped Zack Wheeler would come off the DL. Wheeler could be shut down the rest of the season. Next year is pure speculation for Wheeler.
That’s also the operative word for Matt Harvey, who underwent shoulder surgery. Not to mention Steven Matz, who will undergo surgery on his elbow, and is now having shoulder issues. Noah Syndergaard also has a bone spur issue that could necessitate surgery.
Of their core five of young arms that was supposed to make the National League playoffs the “Mets Invitational,” Jacob deGrom is the only one you can say with any confidence will be on the 2017 Opening Day roster. Nobody throws the “ace” word in Colon’s direction, but he’s the stopper in this rotation.
So, why wouldn’t you bring back Colon?
Speaking of players returning, the Mets have far less control over Yoenis Cespedes, who drove in three runs with two homers and a double. He also sent a third ball to the warning track.
It’s a double-edged sword for the Mets with Cespedes. They need him to go on a tear similar to last year if they are to make a playoff run.
However, the hotter Cespedes gets, and with the free-agent market for right-handed hitters next year paltry at best, it increases the odds of him opting out and going on the market. There’s no reason why he wouldn’t.
The Mets would have him for the next two years for $50 million if he decides to stay. But, if he tests the market it will cost the Mets much more, and, why wouldn’t he test the market again.