The Atlanta Braves have reportedly signed Bartolo Colon to a one-year, $12.5 million contract. The 43-year old righty has spent the last three seasons with the Mets, posting a 44-34 record with a 3.90 ERA in 98 games—95 of which were starts.
Once thought of as a long reliever at the start of the season, Colon led the Mets with 15 wins and a 191.2 innings pitched. Injuries to Matt Harvey and Zach Wheeler only highlighted the importance of the former Cy Young award winner in the rotation.
This comes a day after Atlanta signed another aging former Cy Young award winner in 42-year old, R.A. Dickey. The knuckleballer is coming off a poor season with the Blue Jays. He went 10-15 and posted a 4.46 ERA in 30 games (29 starts) with Toronto.
The signings of Colon and Dickey look to bolster a struggling Braves starting rotation. Atlanta starters posted a 4.87 ERA in 2016, which was the third worst in the major leagues last season. Only the Twins (5.39) and Diamondbacks (5.19) were worse.
Colon and Dickey will join ace Julio Teheran at the top of the Braves rotation. Mike Foltynewicz will take the fourth spot in the rotation, while Aaron Blair, Matt Wisler and Josh Collmenter will likely compete for the final spot in the Braves rotation during Spring Training.
It’ll be interesting for Mets fans to see two of their former aces in NL East rival uniforms. Dickey won the 2012 NL Cy Young award with the Mets, going 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA. The knuckleballer hasn’t pitched at Citi Field since winning the Cy Young award. Colon has pitched well in his career at Citi Field, going 21-16, with a 3.47 ERA. However, a majority of that was pitching for the Mets.
One more thing to keep in mind. Aaron Blair was born in May of 1992. Bartolo Colon signed his first professional contract in 1993. R.A. Dickey was drafted in the first round of the 1996 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers.
Youth and experience—we’ll see what happens.