Mets get starter in Bartolo Colon; Is it the right move?
By Rich Mancuso
On one hand the New York Mets agree to sign Bartolo Colon to a two-year $20 million dollar contract. The 40-year old veteran right-hander, who helped anchor the Oakland Athletics starting core last season, finished second among AL starters in earned run average to go along with an 18-6 record in 30 starts.
So, with the signings of outfielders Chris Young and Curtis Granderson, Mets GM Sandy Alderson is probably done with the high spending for the roster going into the 2014 season. The Mets payroll is projected to be around $80 million, of course not calculating any other minor signings or trades.
Colon does add leadership and fulfills a void in the rotation with the absence of Matt Harvey who will sit out the entire 2014 campaign. And one immediate look at the starting rotation, assuming Colon passes a physical, and he should, has the Mets with a viable addition that includes Jonathon Niese, Zach Wheeler and Dillon Gee.
Mets fans should be content for the moment, or should they with the addition of Colon and the acquisitions of Young and Granderson that came at a price of $87.25 million?
It is a two-fold theory when it comes to the Mets and free agency. Alderson and the Wilpon ownership made a commitment to make a splash in the free agent market with money available as long as it was within reason. They did, but not, perhaps obtaining the high profiled names that were on the market.
Still out there are names of significance that would fulfill a need at shortstop, Steven Drew in particular or a Nelson Cruz for the outfield. But when analyzing the moves Alderson secured, Granderson and Young add depth and power to the outfield spots, and from a monetary standpoint, not bad for the investment made.
Colon, as baseball insiders said, has been a viable commodity the past few years for the Yankees and the Athletics.
The Mets have improved, and there may be more to come. Because Ike Davis is still on the trading block or Lucas Duda could be packing his bags to answer their ongoing question at first base. Either way, with Granderson batting behind David Wright, production will come. Meaning more power in the lineup assuming everyone stays healthy.
Colon may not look like a Cy Young Award pitcher and is close to 300 pounds. But he provides innings and depth. Let’s not bypass that he was also in the Cy Young Award talk this past season and his first stint in New York, in Yankee pinstripes, he went 8-10 but became a viable fifth starter for manager Joe Girardi and missed some action on the disabled list.
Viable is the key thing here, and that’s what the Mets got by obtaining Colon. This will probably be his final team in a career that has spanned 15 years and now with eight teams.
For the moment, Colon fills a void with the absence of Matt Harvey. And if he gives the Mets innings, continues to throw strikes, as he does well, Colon will make the Mets that much better on the mound to compliment the young pitching staff. The adventure will see Colon at bat and watching his move to first base.
Now, Alderson needs to fill some more pieces. The bullpen in particular, and does Ruben Tejada anchor the position at shortstop again, and more pieces need to be filled for the bench.
Mets fans, it is a start. Management promised some spending. Not, perhaps what they want, but for the moment, and with plenty of time before Opening Day of March 31 at Citi Field, the team has improved.
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