The New York Mets have rotund, veteran starting pitcher Bartolo Colon signed through the 2015 season. Whether they trade him or not, they will likely end up paying Colon a good chunk of his 2015 salary.
When the Mets signed Colon as a free agent, they were the only team willing to offer him two years in a deal. That seems reasonable given the fact that Colon will be 42 next season, even if he has appeared to be ageless in recent seasons. Joel Sherman reports that the second year on Colon’s deal is a serious roadblock to any potential trade:
But multiple executives from outside of the Mets say it is exactly that $11 million owed in 2015 that will make Sandy Alderson’s job trading the righty anywhere from difficult to impossible — unless the Mets swallow a huge sum of next year’s payday.
Sherman also spoke to multiple executives who indicated that Colon might have a much stronger market if not for that second year on the deal.
It sounds like the Mets have some buyer’s remorse as well. Not necessarily because they are unhappy with Colon’s performance, but simply because of that second year on his contract.
One executive accentuated his point about how difficult it will be to move Colon by saying he thought if Colon were put on waivers and claimed by a team in August that the Mets simply would let him go so that the new team had to pay the $11 million next year.
Yes, the Mets would be willing to literally let Colon go for nothing if it meant that they did not have to pay him $11 million next season.
It makes sense that the Mets want to move Colon: while they had a need for him this season, their glut of young pitching means that they want the spot in the rotation currently occupied by Colon to be vacant for one of the young guns.
If New York’s front office does get an offer from a team willing to surrender any talent as long as they can get relief from part of his 2015 salary, one imagines that the team will jump at that faster than Colon at the first pitch of one of his legendary at-bats.