The Atlanta Braves are thinking about acquiring free agent starting pitcher Bartolo Colon as a short-term solution in their rotation in 2016.
According to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, the Atlanta Braves have interest in signing free agent starting pitcher Bartolo Colon to short-term deal with the club for 2016.
The #Braves have discussed Bartolo Colon. They’re looking at short-term SP options who won’t block some of their young starters.
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) December 10, 2015
Colon will pitch in 2016 as a 43-year-old, but could provide the Braves with some much-needed innings and a quality short-term starter in the veteran right-hander. He last pitched for the Braves’ division rival in the New York Mets and usually gave the Braves trouble when these two teams faced off.
Colon at this stage in his career primarily throws fastballs with sub-par, albeit effective velocity. He won 29 games over the last two years with the Mets and pitched nearly 200 innings in both seasons past his 40th birthday.
Atlanta likely needs another pitcher capable of being in the top part of their rotation, after the club traded away its lone All-Star last year in Shelby Miller to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Braves have a bountiful crop of young arm talent, but could use a veteran in the rotation like Colon to aid in the young staff’s development.
The Braves are clearly rebuilding and Atlanta may ship Colon to a contender near the trade deadline for a prospect or two if the team is already out of playoff contention. 2016 could be a long season for a Braves team that could lose over 100 games.
In the final year of Turner Field before the club moves slightly northwest to SunTrust Park, the Braves will need a player that can draw fans to games in what might become another lost season in Atlanta. Would Colon’s antics in the dugout and at the plate serve as an added promotional bonus for the club? Braves fans could seriously enjoy the plate discipline of the 280 pound Colon. At least he wouldn’t be pitching for the Mets at that point.