The Mets aren’t expected to make Bartolo Colon available at this year’s trade deadline, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports, barring a situation where “trading him would somehow directly improve their playoff chances.” Colon, Dillon Gee and Jon Niese were all being shopped by the Mets during the offseason but none were dealt, a non-move that could end up being a prudent one for the team given that Zack Wheeler was lost for the season due to Tommy John surgery.
Colon has essentially been seen as a trade candidate ever since he signed his two-year, $20MM free agent contract in January 2014. As Martino puts it, “the Mets might has well have issued Colon a jersey with ’PLACEHOLDER’ on the back” as the thinking was that the Mets would eventually use the veteran as a trade chip once one of their younger arms was ready to take his spot in the rotation. The Mets didn’t get much interest about Colon at last year’s trade deadline, however, and despite testing his market over the winter, the club began to feel more inclined to keep Colon even late last season.
“Our thinking has changed a lot” about Colon, a team insider tells Martino. Obviously, Colon’s performance has been a factor, but the team also values his clubhouse popularity and his mentorship of young pitchers. Additionally, Martino notes that Colon’s experience could be an asset to a young team that hopes to be in a pennant race.
Colon celebrates his 42nd birthday on May 24, and despite his age and no-frills arsenal (he has thrown his 88.6mph fastball a whopping 88.1% of the time), Colon is still a solidly effective Major League starter. Over 32 2/3 innings this season, Colon has a 3.31 ERA, 25 strikeouts and just one walk allowed, with ERA indicators like FIP, xFIP and SIERA indicating that his performance is no fluke.