Heading into this season, one of the Mets' most valuable trade assets was Bartolo Colon. He is in the last year of his two-year contract, he is an experienced veteran, and, most importantly, he has a long track record of success, amassing 208 wins during his 18-year career. For these reasons, a trade with Colon involved seemed almost inevitable.
Then, the Mets went 15-8 in April and sit atop the National League East by 4.5 games due in no small part to a 4-1 start with a 3.31 ERA from Colon. The soon-to-be 42-year-old has allowed as many walks (1) this season as hits he's recorded at the plate.
Now that the Mets are looking more like playoff contenders, a trade with Colon involved at the deadline is highly unlikely unless it is to improve the Mets' current roster and postseason chances. Colon is 12 years older than the Mets' second-oldest starting pitcher, Dillon Gee (29), and his veteran presence in the Mets' rotation is considered vital to the team's success heading forward. Mets' pitching coach Dan Warthen turns every one of Colon's starts into a learning experience for the younger players.
"I say, ‘watch him,’" Warthen told New York Daily News. "How he dissects the plate. How he goes first-pitch strike. He finds a release point. He works it both sides. He can repeat. He looks at his foot print at all times. You watch him on the mound, and if he makes a bad pitch, he’ll look right down at his foot print."
Colon's antics at the plate and contagious smile have Mets fans everywhere hooked. Beyond that, Colon has been as effective as any starter in the rotation this season, giving fans a legitimate reason to want to keep him around. If the Mets continue to compete in the National League East, expect to see Colon around in Queens come October.