Mets RHP Bartolo Colon would like to return to the Mets in 2017, he recently said through an interpreter, according to ESPN.com's Adam Rubin.
"I hope I am here," he again told the Daily News, when recently asked about next season. "If they give me the opportunity, I would love to be here."
In August, he told reporters that before he retires he wants to reach 243 career wins, which would top Juan Marichal for the most ever by a Dominican-born pitcher in the major leagues. Colon currently has 231 wins.
"He's been the mainstay," Mets managaer Terry Collins said about Colon after his last start. "He's the guy that every fifth day takes the baseball. We don't have to worry about pitch counts, we don't have to worry about innings, he just goes out there and does it. He's had two starts where our bullpen was tired and we needed him to get deep in the game, and you looked up and he was in the eighth inning. He's been a tremendous addition to the staff."
In his last five starts, during which the Mets are 4-1, Colon has a 2.78 ERA, while striking out 18 batters and walking five in 32 1/3 innings pitched.
"He's been great, really great," GM Sandy Alderson recently said, according to the Daily News. "He's given us what we asked of him on the field, but what he does off the field has had a huge impact too."
In the last few months, Steven Matz, Seth Lugo and Noah Syndergaard have all talked on record about how watching Colon do more with less has inspired them to re-think their approach to pitching. It's almost like he's an on-mound, by-example pitching coach, which is something the team will certainly consider when considering what to offer him for next season.
Despite being 43 years old, he's probably worth a two-year deal, especially when you consider his leadership, versatility and durability. I don't know that the Mets are thinking this way, or if he's even open to it, but if it's the difference between keeping him or letting him go, I wouldn't think twice about locking him up for two full years.
My hunch is the two sides will quickly agree to a one-year, $10-12 million deal with a vesting option (and buyout) for 2018. Colon clearly loves it here, and the Mets obviously value him, so it shouldn't be too difficult for them to reach a compromise.