ESPN.com is reporting Friday that the Mets have yet to place Bartolo Colon on waivers. For a guy the Mets are said to be desperate to trade, this is an odd (non) move. But it may not be so strange at all. Here’s why.
Sandy Alderson could be biding his time, waiting for a team to be desperate enough to claim Colon. Maybe that contending team will have just lost a starter to injury. Or maybe that team would want to block a competitor from putting in a claim.
Either way, if there is a claim, the Mets would have 48 hours to trade Bartolo Colon to that team or pull him from waivers. Alderson is sure to ask for a decent prospect, while the other team is sure to ask the Mets to foot the bill for some of Colon’s $11 million salary for next season. Both will likely deny the other’s request.
But here’s the thing — at that point, Alderson could just give Colon to the team, and that team would be responsible for all of the money owed to him. Alderson would not hesitate for a moment to dump Colon’s salary. And this is what I truly think he is waiting for.
Alderson has gotten what he needed from Bartolo Colon. He needed a starter to fill a spot until the young guys came along. And if the Mets somehow were in contention, Colon could help there. But now the young guys are either ready to go (Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero) or already here (Jacob deGrom) and the Mets are clearly not a threat to contend. So Colon is no longer needed.
He was never needed for 2015, which is why the two-year deal was such a shock, especially from a team with on a limited budget with several holes to fill.
Alderson will have a hard time trading Bartolo Colon in the off-season, which means his salary would take up a slot that should go to a hitter. Is it either now or never. The entire 2015 season could hang in the balance.