Bartolo Colon would like to return to the Mets, but he wants to start
42-year-old Bartolo Colon has said he intends to pitch beyond 2015, and has said he would like to be a starting pitcher for a club as well.
However, an opportunity to start is unlikely to be guaranteed for the duration of the season if he were to re-sign with the Mets.
Having said that, Sandy Alderson did not rule out the possibility of the club retaining Colon for 2016, saying they would remain, “open minded” to such a possibility.
Alderson cited Colon’s versatility in his ability to both start and pitch out of the bullpen as reasons for having Colon back, especially considering the need to manage the workload for Zack Wheeler and the possibility of skipping starts for other members of their rotation over the course of the year.
Having said that, Terry Collins said he doesn’t anticipate any innings limits for the starting pitching staff. And with Jon Niese under contract and the need for different kinds of relievers, there isn’t really a natural fit for Colon even as an early-season starter and a late-season swing man.
And on Tuesday, Mets assistant GM John Ricco said Colon would like to return to the Mets, but will look for an opportunity to start before considering a role as a reliever with New York.
“From what I understand, he is interested in coming back,” Ricco explained. “But he’s going to go out on the market and look and see. I would imagine he prefers to be a starter. While he might be open to relieving, that might be a secondary thing for him. We haven’t had any detailed conversations.”
Part of the Mets strength in 2015 and specifically during the postseason was the quality of their depth, which helped strengthen their bullpen and protect other weaknesses, thanks to Niese’s ability to get left-handed hitters out, and along with Colon, provide multiple innings of relief.
But if the Mets intend to retool their bullpen, it’s going to be really tough for the Mets to find regular work for Colon, which could ultimately result in the two sides ultimately parting ways.