I was surprised when the Mets signed Bartolo Colon, especially for two years. Now we learn that every other team in baseball was probably surprised as well because it turns out the Mets were the only team to offer Colon multiple years.
“I really left it up to my agent. I trusted in him to find a good team that would be a good fit for me,” Colon told ESPN New York through an interpreter on Saturday. “Other teams had one-year offers. The second year really sealed the deal for me with the Mets.”
With Matt Harvey missing this season, it made some sense to sign a front-line starter for 2014 (Although if the Mets had any nerve, they would have allowed Noah Syndergaard to start the season with the team, negating the need for another starter. But that’s neither here nor there).
However, with Harvey set to return in 2015 to go along with the rest of the young pitching, there is absolutely no need to spend $11 million (Colon’s contract breaks down to $9 million in the first season, $11 million in the second) on another starter, especially one who will turn 42 during that season.
Giving Bartolo Colon that second year was always a stupid move, and now that we learn that the Mets were basically bidding against themselves, it is even dumber. With no one else offering two years, I’ll bet the Mets could have gotten him for an option for 2015 with a couple of million dollars buyout. Instead, they will be stuck with an old, overweight starter with a PED history making a lot of money whom they will not even need. And whether he will still be effective is a huge question mark.
But who’s to say what would have happened? Maybe another team would have offered the second year and more money had the Mets played hard ball. It was a risk the Mets should have taken because Bartolo Colon was not necessary. Get him on your terms or don’t get him at all.
Sandy Alderson does deserve some credit here because he acted aggressively, which is not his usual forte. He targeted the player he wanted, offered him a contract with which he was comfortable, and he got his man. I just think the Mets targeted the wrong player and I am not comfortable with the contract. But hey, who am I to question Sandy Alderson? So many of his previous moves have worked out brilliantly.