2 Guys Mailbag: Theories on the Colon Signing

BartoloColonThe recent moves by the Mets generated some inbox items for us at 2 Guys. Sure most of it was spam, but I did take notice of the following e-mail from reader Anthony Cicchetti.

In an abstract way, I think Sandy Alderson considers this a bit of a free roll with some ancillary benefits:

  • Coming on the heels of the Granderson signing, it does enthuse the fan base ( something we all agree was needed) to an extension.
  •  Rightly or wrongly, it severely lessens the pressure Sandy would face to bring Noah Syndergard up to the majors prior to super 2.

In Sandy’s world, this could very possibly save the team 10 million ( Colon’s ’14 salary) over the course of his arbitration years.

In a perfect world, the Mets contend for a wild card, and this signing is hailed as a home run. In a perfect Sandy world, The Mets play decent (.500 or so) ball, Colon pitches fairly well, and is traded to a contender in August, thus ridding the Mets of 12 million of his 2 year 20 million dollar deal.

This would be optimal, considering Colon’s services likely won’t be needed next year. Say what you want about Sandy, he does try to think several steps ahead and I hope this works out well. My first instinct on this deal is that I don’t like it. I would love to be proven wrong, but there is a reason that a guy who went 18-6 with a sub three earned run was sitting there waiting to be signed at this price. I feel the better move would have been to spend a bit more (if 22 million can be considered a bit), sign Steven Drew and let the young pitchers battle it out for the last 2 rotation spots. I do understand the thinking that concerns leaving Noah in Vegas until late June, but with Mejia, Montero and Degrom, this staff can easily compete, as well as entertain, until he arrives.

That being said, there is upside upside here, and the fact that combined with Curtis, the team is trying something substantial even in the face of no Harvey this year, is gratifying.”

Noah Syndergaard at Futures GameI agree that even though Colon was signed for two years, the strategy might be to use him short term and then move him. As you mentioned, the projected “savings” on holding back Montero and Syndergaard would basically fund Bartolo. If Colon can be flipped for a prospect at some point you could end up in a net positive position.

Frankly this looks like the strategy to me. The risk is if Bartolo does not pitch well, you are stuck with an unproductive player with a $10 million per year salary for 2015. And given how uneasy I feel about our potential payroll budget for 2015 (and beyond unless the owners sell), it is not the move I would have made. But your last sentence is the key. The fact that the team is trying anything substantial at all is gratifying.

Thanks for the e-mail, Anthony.







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  1. tonycil says:

    Drew is not very good. Why do you think no one has signed him?

    • Drew is engaging in the time-honored baseball tradition of trying to get the most money possible, more than he merits. Teams are reluctant to meet those terms. It’s a dance and it will come down to years, I think. He probably wants more than two. If Sandy offered three, I suspect he could get him. If it goes down to two, then the edge goes to Boston. Injuries really derailed his 2011 and 2012 seasons. That is pretty scary. If healthy, he’s a good shortstop. No more, no less. Last year, the Mets put up the worst numbers in baseball at the SS position, without league-average defense. In other words, I think this is between Boston and the Mets and Drew is waiting for somebody to blink. In the end, the blinker might be Stephen Drew.

      • To be clear, my take:

        If it comes down to money, Boston wins. If it comes down to years, Mets “win,” so to speak. If Drew blinks, he accepts whatever Boston gives him for 2 years; if the Mets blink, Drew slides over to NYC for three years. As always, incentives, option years, variations come into play. Frightening to think that this could hinge on Sandy’s ability to trade Ike — or worse, Murphy.

  2. wkkortas says:

    The thing that should scare Met fans a bit is, assuming Mr. Cicchetti’s e-mail is on the mark (and frankly, I think it is) is that it’s the Pittsburgh Pirates strategy circa 2007–i.e, sign free agents not to compete for the post-season, but hopefully to have them play well enough to be flipped at the deadline, and stock the system to create a window of being competitive in the future. That’s a great strategy if you’re in a market like Pittsburgh; if you’re in Queens, and you’re following the Pirates’ strategy and committing to the Pirates’ payroll…well, I wouldn’t be fooling myself into believing that the Mets’ front office has any real commitment to being anything more than mediocre this time around.

  3. Eric says:

    I was hoping they’d add two KEEPERS.

    Choo and Drew and the Super Two’s(our own young pitchers)would have been my ideal off-season plan. I can understand the factors land land you on DO-ABLE….. starting with Choo $’s/Years.

    They’ve done MORE than “Something”—I concede and give them credit for that. Marketability of players is a reflection of good player acquisition and production, so I cannot criticize that.

    The projection I provide on this team is 78-84 wins. That bumps to 81-87 with Drew. Assumption is a combined 4 healthy arms and D Wright/Grandy giving you their happy and healthy play.

    Given the go-forward flex…the retention of major assets….. I’m ok with their off season so far. The Davis Tender remains a puzzle.

    Add Drew…4 years…. Play for playoff baseball and get on the clock!!!!

  4. IB says:

    I like the Colon signing and I think Anthony makes a ton of sense. I’m still hopeful they dip in and go after Drew also, for a couple of reasons. I can’t see going into the season with Tejada as your starting SS. Even when he hit .289 in ’12 what did he have? 25 RBI’s? His D isn’t good enough to cover that. Replace that with Drew’s steady numbers” .250/15 HR’s/65 RBI’s at the bottom half of the order and that’s a lot of ballgames won you could toss out with Ruben “working the pitcher”. It really changes the offensive balance up and down the lineup. Really, what’s worse than Tejada coming up with 2 on and 2 outs? (other than Ike).
    Time to go get another beer….

    Sandy made some nice moves, but it feels incomplete. Adding Drew might make this an exciting team in ’14.

  5. RAFF says:

    My guess is that the Red Sox are currently holding the line at 2 years for Drew, It’s possible that one of the things Drew is paying attention to is whether the Red Sox deal their young 3rd baseman, Middlebrooks. If they keep Middlebrooks, then they wouldn’t go past 2 years. If Middlebrooks is staying, maybe the Mets will be able to sign him for 3 years. Frankly – I don;t see where he’d be blocking anything in the foreseeable future at a 3 or even a 4 year deal. If they could get him at 11-12 million a year- for 3 years, it would be a very good signing.

  6. RAFF says:

    The thought-process that arrives at the conclusion that the Mets are committing to Colon, at 2/$20 Million, for the dual purpose of: 1) Flipping him at the deadline, and/or 2) Invoking the “Super-2″ advantage of defraying the future outlays for a couple of young pitchers relies on a very “ELEGANT” calculus that I can’t get quite get my mind wrapped around. Could these things eventually happen- Sure. But to assume that the Mets are making this commitment dependent on those outcomes is borderline “conspiracy theory” stuff, guys. If, indeed, the Mets are at .500 at the deadline, I think there’s a much simpler arithmetic in play— An “Occums Razor” analysis- The Simpler thought process: Colon pitches well and eats innings> Fans are excited, spinning the turnstiles, generating revenue, and making it possible for the Mets to expand their payroll expectations- possibly picking up another piece for a run, or placing themselves in position for the next step leading into 2015.

  7. James Preller says:

    I agree, Raff. I certainly hope that “the plan” is not be sellers in July, that would be a cynical way to enter Year 4, whereas the move surprised me because it showed, I thought, a more resolute interest in competing this year. Within the (unfriendly) confines, I think Sandy is trying to piece together an 85-win team. A longshot, but i think that’s the goal. Of course, plans can change and Colon does come with an interesting Plan B option. Btw, I believed that was the plan with Frank Francisco.

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