The New York Mets have made their second big signing of the winter, inking former Oakland A's starter Bartolo Colon to a two-year contract worth a reported $20 million. The 40-year old Colon has back to back breakout seasons in Oakland, but made just a combined $5 million. He'll quadruple that salary over the next two years.
Colon's revival actually started in New York with the Yankees, when in 2011, he threw 164 1/3 innings of 4.00 ERA ball. But he kicked it to another level over the past two years with the A's, combining to throw 342 2/3 innings with a 2.99 ERA, striking out 208 and walking just 52. Colon also served a 50-game suspension for PED use at the end of the 2012 season, and was named in the Biogenesis report, but did not serve any additional punishment.
$20 million guaranteed for a 40-year old seems steep to me, PED concerns not withstanding. But Colon is a finesse guy, and not someone who needs to blow his fastball by hitters like some pitchers. He should be able to continue generating weak contact, but the level of risk for a player his age turns me against an eight figure, multi-year deal. New York's rotation now contains Colon, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, Zack Wheeler, and a giant question mark in the fifth spot, though Jenrry Mejia will be the favorite. With Matt Harvey out for all of 2014, the Mets needed to improve their rotation. They did that with Colon, but this improvement had a steep price and has a great chance of backfiring on them.