It doesn’t take an expert to understand that veteran pitcher Bartolo Colón is coming down the final stretch of his professional baseball career, but until this year, the big man hadn’t showed many signs of slowing down. The retirement discussion appears to be picking up some steam from the 44-year old pitcher though, as he has hinted he’s strongly considering retirement, maybe as soon as his next start.

Marly Rivera of ESPN reported in a brief update she was told by Colón “he has been considering retirement and that his next start against the Dodgers could be a determining factor.” Based on that brief report alone, it seems Colón could be incredibly close to calling it a career; maybe even as early as next week.

Before we jump to any conclusions, this could still mean any number of possibilities are in play. Big League Stew is suggesting the odds are probably pretty good this statement suggests Colón could retire after his next start against the Dodgers. But it could also mean Colón will decide to play out the remainder of the 2017 season before hanging up his glove. And considering how this season has gone for the 20-year veteran pitcher, that seems to make some sense.

Colón was released by the Atlanta Braves on July 4 and signed by the Minnesota Twins three days later. His first appearance for the Twins was unpleasant as he lasted just four innings and gave up four runs on eight hits. With the Braves, Colón appeared in 13 games and compiled a record of 2-8 with an 8.14 ERA and 1.778 WHIP.

While we all love seeing the portly Colón take the mound as he serves as an inspiration for us all to continue pursuing our dreams and doing what we love, there comes a time when a player has to realize they can no longer compete at a high level. Letting go is hard to do, but we will always have the memories of a long career. We obviously don’t want to see him go, but nobody wants to see the man struggle like this either.

[Big League Stew]

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to NBCSports.com's College Football Talk, Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Host of the No 2-Minute Warning Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and iHeart Radio. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.