Bartolo Colon signs a one-year deal with the Mets
The Mets traded Jon Niese to the Pirates in exchange for Neil Walker during the Winter Meetings, leaving a temporary void in the rotation until Zack Wheeler is ready to return from his rehab from Tommy John Surgery, which is expected to be in June or July.
Assistant GM John Ricco has said the club had been in contact with the agents for Bartolo Colon, who is interested in returning to the Mets and is open to being a swing-man in 2016.
And it would appear the Mets now have a deal in place to bring Colon back.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports said on Wednesday the Mets and Colon have agreed to a one-year, $7.25 million contract for 2016, pending a physical.
“His versatility and the success he had in the playoffs in that role, and where he is in his career, I think he could fit us on a number of levels. Everything I’ve heard, he would be open to that type of role,” Ricco recently said about Colon.
Terry Collins was hopeful the two sides could eventually agree to a deal.
“I know he wants to come back,” Collins said on Tuesday. “I know there’s talks with him going on. I hope they can get something done.”
Combined with the $12.5 million the club will save thanks to Michael Cuddyer’s retirement, the Mets could then use that cost savings for other assets they’re interested in signing or trading for this winter, although it remains to be seen what the net savings actually will be with Cuddyer’s buyout.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports said during the Winter Meetings it was likely Colon will be returning to the Mets, although a deal has yet to be forged. The Braves had also discussed the possibility of signing Colon, according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman.
Ricco and Collins both said rotation alternatives would’ve included Logan Verrett and Sean Gilmartin.
Colon, 42, has won more games and pitched more innings than any other Mets starter since the start of the 2014 season. He went 14-13 with a 4.16 ERA in 33 appearances and 31 starts over 194 2/3 innings in 2015. He went 29-26 with a 4.13 ERA in 64 appearances and 62 starts for the Mets from 2014-2015. He just completed a two-year, $20 million contract in 2015.
The Mets made their one-year deal with Colon official on Friday. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Mets designated Johnny Monell for assignment.
“I’ve had a great experience in New York,” Colon said in a statement Friday. “The fans are great, being part of the postseason was great. I’ll do anything Terry wants me to do this year, start or relieve. I just want to help us get back to the World Series.”
Original post: Dec. 16, 9:18 am
Updated: Dec. 16, 4:10 pm, Dec. 18, 7:20 pm