Should the Blue Jays sign Bartolo Colon?
10 months ago
Here’s a bold take for you. The Toronto Blue Jays should sign Bartolo Colon to a minor league deal to start the season
You may read this article and ask “what the heck is Brennan writing about”, but hear me out. There are certainly benefits to the Jays signing the soon to be 49-year-old.
He’ll hopefully be a Hall of Famer:
If we’re looking at only statistics, there’s no doubt in my mind that Bartolo Colon deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame. The right hander from the Dominican Republic has pitched 3461.2 innings (76th most) in his MLB career which has spanned from 1997-2018. In case you were wondering, I was born in 1998, meaning that Big Sexy has pitched longer in the big leagues than I have been alive.
He made his debut at the age of 23 and pitched in the MLB until he was 45. In that time frame, he has amassed an ERA of 4.12 with a bWAR of 45.8 and an fWAR of 51.0. He was never a strikeout pitcher as he had a career K/9 of 6.6, but Bartolo has always been known as a control pitcher, as his BB/9 stands at 2.5.
Looking back to his prime in New York (2014-2016), Bartolo had a BB/9 of 1.3, which was the lowest in the league during that time frame. He also had a FIP of 3.79 and ERA of 3.90. Colon has also won a Cy Young back in 2005 with the Los Angeles Angels.
What could dissuade voters from voting Big Sexy in however, is the fact that he popped for steroid use in 2012 when he played for the Oakland A’s. It is my belief that regardless of a player using PEDs, they should be in the Hall of Fame due to the fact that it’s a part of MLB’s history. Yes, Barry Bonds should be in the Hall of Fame.
He could boost sales for the Jays:
When I mention the name “Bartolo Colon ”, what do you think? Is it the fact that the pitcher tested positive for PEDs? Is it the fact that he had stem cell surgery that turned back the clock of time? Is it the fact that he has two different families? You could be, and it’s absolutely fair to be thinking about that.
However, some of you readers will be thinking of “He drives one, DEEP LEFT FIELD, BACK GOES UPTON, BACK NEAR THE WALL, IT’S OUTTA HEREE!! BARTOLO HAS DONE IT! THE IMPOSSIBLE HAS HAPPENED.”
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Or perhaps you’re even imagining him intentionally losing his batting helmet every time he swung the bat, solely to please the hopeless New York Mets fans.
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Perhaps you’re thinking of Bartolo defying the odds and being incredibly athletic for a 5” 11’, 285 guy by making highlight reel defensive plays. I am a bigger guy myself, so to be able to see someone like me play at a high level is awesome.
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All of this is to say that the pitcher is essentially universally loved. Picture this: if the Jays sign the 49-year-old Bartolo Colon to a minor league deal, it would be picked up by every single North American news outlet from Toronto to the Dominican Republic. If he gets into a game in 2022, there’s a good chance that jersey sales would increase as Bartolo is such a famous pitcher.
Hell, I bought a child sized Luke Maile jersey because he had a stretch of ten good games. If Bartolo was a Jays player, I’d be the first to buy his jersey.
He’s still pitching:
Yeah, crazy, right? There are certain athletes that stand the test of time, such as the recently retired Tom Brady and soon to be 50-year-old Jamomir Jagr (who is also still playing). If you had no knowledge of sport and had to guess which one of these athletes weren’t playing, there’s a good chance you’d say Bartolo.
Even when he played, Big Sexy did not look like the prototypical MLB pitcher. Despite that, he played 21 seasons and has continued to play in the Mexican League. In 2021, the 48-year-old posted a 4.55 ERA in 61 innings pitched. This included a great BB/9 of 1.5, meaning that the man old enough to be my father, still has what made him great: His control.
Below is a video of Bartolo showing that he still has it.
He’s not old, he just has experience:
The Jays could be looking to add a fifth starter, depending on how they view Ross Stripling and Nate Pearson. Is this an opportunity for Bartolo to show the world that he still has it? While it is unlikely that he would make the 40-man roster, that isn’t to say he wouldn’t be of great help to prospects.
Every single year, new international free agents from Spanish speaking countries are signed. Bartolo could be a leader as he’s been there and done that. In fact, all pitchers would benefit from having the wealth of knowledge that Bartolo possesses.
He played for the Twins and the Rangers in his last two seasons in the MLB. Especially for the Rangers, he was essentially their ace. If he were the 5th starter for the Jays, he’d be under the spotlight a lot less.
Sign him up, Blue Jays!
I believe it’s realistic to see Bartolo signed to a minor league deal and pitch the season in Buffalo. If injuries occur on the big league roster, calling Bartolo up in an emergency could be beneficial to the Jays. He could help young pitchers develop in Buffalo using his vast knowledge of the game of baseball.
There’s a lot to gain with not a lot to lose, I say it’s worth it.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. Do you want to see Bartolo in a Jays uniform? Clearly, April Fools.
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