One of the “biggest” free agents signings the New York Mets had this offseason was pitcher Bartolo Colon. The Mets signed the almost 41 year old to a two-year, $20 million contract in mid-December to help round out the rotation that has the ace of the staff missing. Colon made his Grapefruit League debut today for the Mets, going four innings, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out one.
Colon is entering his 17th year in the MLB, most recently pitching for the Oakland Athletics last season before signing on with the Mets. His 18 wins last season was the highest total since 2005 while pitching for the Los Angeles Angels. He also finished 2nd in the American League last season with an ERA of 2.65, which was his lowest since 2002 with the Cleveland Indians. It should also be added that he was 6th in the CY Young Award voting last season and made the All-Star team as well.
It is hard to say what version of Colon the Mets are going to get. If they are to reach anywhere near the 90 wins they have been talking about recently, he will need to be his best or a runner-up version. If healthy, it is realistic that Colon could give them 12-15 wins but not sure if that is likely.
The battle for first base wages on, although it has to take a back seat as both competitors, Lucas Duda and Ike Davis, are nursing injuries. That is a battle that probably won’t be decided until the season opener of Mar. 31 against the Washington Nationals. Duda has played in only three games this spring to Davis’ two, so it would be premature to say either has the upper hand.
The Mets’ outfield situation still hasn’t cleared up. The one thing that is certain is Curtis Granderson will be playing centerfield; the rest is up for grabs. Matt den Dekker is making his case to stay on the roster with a very good spring so far, while free agent acquisition Chris Young is off to a slow start. Luckily for the Mets, it is still early and eventually there will be some separation between the players involved, which will make it an easier decision.