Bartolo Colon is closer to 60 than he is 30, but that isn’t stopping him from dreaming of an MLB return in 2020 — and to Queens of all places.
“If it was up to me, I would retire with the Mets,” the 46-year-old Colon said when speaking with ESPN’s Marly Rivera. “I would like my career to end in New York.”
Colon spent three seasons with the Mets from 2014-2016 — not near his finest seasons or his prime as he went 44-34 with a 3.90 ERA, but it was a time that clearly resonated with him.
“That Mets team was really something special,” Colon said. “I’ve played with 10 teams, but with the Mets, the way all those players treated me, how that entire franchise treated me, from the front office to the kitchen staff, it was amazing.”
While Colon provided stability within a pitching staff that had anything but during his stay in New York, he developed into a cult hero and a fan favorite amongst the Mets supporters.
“Mets fans are the best. In the beginning, when they laughed at me every time my helmet fell off, at first I felt uncomfortable,” he said. “But when I saw how much the fans enjoyed it, I asked for a bigger batting helmet so that it would fall more because it was so much fun for them!”
The righty struggled to recapture that magic in the following two seasons with the Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins, and Texas Rangers, going 14-26 with a 6.13 ERA from 2017-2018.
He was out of baseball in 2019 but kept throwing throughout the year, an indication that he wasn’t quite done with baseball just yet.
Bringing on a 46-year-old arm with 21 years of MLB experience provides its obvious risks, but the Mets experimenting with a reunion might not be completely out of the realm of possibilities.
Noah Syndergaard will miss the truncated 2020 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery earlier this spring.
Behind Jacob deGrom, the Mets will roll out Marcus Stroman — the lone certainty of the bottom four pitchers — alongside Rick Porcello, Steven Matz, and Michael Wacha.
Inconsistencies and injuries have plagued the latter three in recent years and the Mets’ starting depth behind them leaves plenty to be desired with Corey Oswalt, Walker Lockett, and prospect David Peterson the likely next men up.
Colon would provide an innings-eating, dependable option to the mix if he can bring a fraction of his stuff from his first stint in Citi Field to the Mets in 2020.