Don’t you miss him already? I do. Bartolo Colon, who helped carry the Mets into the postseason the last two years, moved on to Atlanta.
The Braves will pay Colon $12.5 million, a figure the Mets had no intention of coming close to paying. The Mets paid Colon $7.5 million last year to lead their young vaunted staff with 15 victories.
One could surmise the Mets passed on Colon to save their pennies to give to Yoenis Cespedes. Really, can there be any other reason?
When you look at how some teams are spending, and how they figure to spend, you have to be disappointed in seeing the Mets let Colon go without much of an effort. It’s especially disappointing because Cespedes is likely to leave anyway.
Before the 2017 season is over, there will be a time the Mets will need Colon.
Sure, his at-bats brought comic relief, and his homer in San Diego was one of the most memorable moments of the season, as was his behind-the-back flip to first in 2015. However, what Colon should best be remembered for was his willingness to always take the ball and gut out innings, a quality that helped him lead the Mets with 44 victories over the last three seasons.
The Mets signed Colon as a stopgap when Matt Harvey was injured in 2013, but he wound up being their ace in that span. As promising as Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard are, neither has been as reliable as the 43-year-old with the funky delivery and always-present smile.
But, none of that was enough to convince the Mets to bring him back despite having four of their young pitchers coming off surgery; another, Syndergaard, having bone spurs in his elbow; and although Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman have promise, their window has been small.
Maybe it will work out for the Mets, and I hope he reaches his goals of becoming the all-time winningest Latin American-born pitcher next season. With a 232-162 record in 19 seasons, he is third behind Dennis Martinez (245) and Juan Marichal (243).
I’m sorry it won’t be with the Mets.