Bartolo Colon signing with Braves
Pitchers’ at-bats at Citi Field won’t be as fun anymore.
Fan favorite Bartolo Colon has agreed to a one-year, $12.5 million deal with Atlanta, according to Foxsports.com. The move ends Colon’s tenure with the Mets after three years.
Colon signed with the Mets prior to the 2014 season and his exuberant ways won over the Citi Field faithful in short time in Flushing. The 43-year-old provided steadiness by going 44-34 with a 3.90 ERA in his three years in New York while tossing at least 191 2/3 innings each season.
The veteran’s at-bats were also must-watch television with the fans at Citi Field cheering wildly whenever he swung, and he provided one of the top moments of the season when he hit his first career in May off James Shields. He became the oldest player to ever hit his first homer.
This past season, Colon proved invaluable due to the injuries to the team’s young hurler. The Mets had re-signed Colon in the offseason to fill a spot in the rotation until Zack Wheeler was ready to return from Tommy John surgery, but Wheeler never pitched this season due to setbacks.
Colon remained in the rotation all season and led the Mets with 15 wins while producing a 3.43 ERA, and appeared in 34 games during a year when Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz saw their seasons cut short due to injuries. Colon started at least 31 games in all three seasons with the Mets.
The Mets would have welcomed Colon back for another season, but there were no guarantees Colon would have been a starting pitcher with the organization, and Atlanta will compensate him handsomely next season. Colon earned $7.25 million this past year with the Mets.
There are question marks about the Mets rotation next year due to the ravage of injuries, but the team has five starters if all the young hurlers prove to be healthy. The emergence of Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo also provides the team with depth in case of injuries and at a cheaper price.
Signing with Atlanta also affords Colon the opportunity to pass Juan Marichal for the most wins by a Dominican-born pitcher. Colon is currently 10 wins behind the Hall of Famer, and likely would not have received as many starts with the Mets as the will be scheduled to make with Atlanta.
The Braves have now signed two ex-Mets pitchers this offseason to bolster their rotation with the team previously signed R.A. Dickey to a one-year deal.
Colon and the Braves open the 2017 season at Citi Field.