When the New York Mets held on to Bartolo Colon after the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31st, many assumed he simply would be moved in August. An August trade requires a player to pass through waivers before he can be moved, and Colon appeared likely to pass through given the 11 million dollars he is owed next season. With the Mets' season spiraling out of control, the Mets surprisingly haven't put Colon on waivers yet, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports.
The fact they haven't exposed Colon to the waiver process is a bit strange. Almost all teams pass their players through waivers in July to see what the market for them is. The process has almost no risk since if a player is claimed, the original team can pull them back. The Mets have already gotten players like Curtis Granderson and Jonathon Niese through waivers, but the fact they haven't put Colon on waivers may indicate they think he will be claimed.
If Colon was to be claimed on waivers, the Mets could only deal with the claiming team at that point. The Mets would have three options: deal Colon to the claiming team, pull him back and hold him for the rest of the season, or let him go for nothing to get his money off the books. While letting Colon's money go would help the Mets' payroll for 2015, the Mets could accomplish the same thing by dealing him at the winter meetings.
There are two likely reasons that the Mets haven't placed Colon on waivers yet. The first reason may come down to the fact that the Mets value Colon's presence on their staff this season, particularly as an innings eater and mentor for the younger arms. If Colon departs, the Mets' most reliable innings eater is Dillon Gee, who has had problems dealing with injuries for most of his career.
The other reason may be to try and generate more interest from contenders as starting pitchers suffer injuries. The Detroit Tigers are in a dog fight with the Kansas City Royals in the American League Central and are down Anibal Sanchez for a couple of weeks. The Los Angeles Angels could also jump in the ring now that they lost their best pitcher, Garrett Richards, for an extended period. The longer the Mets hold off putting Colon on waivers, the better their chance of getting a good return from a desperate contender.
The Mets used the same tactic with Marlon Byrd last season, and held off on dealing him until the end of August. The deal, which also sent John Buck to the Pittsburgh Pirates, netted two important pieces: set up man Vic Black and promising second base prospect Dilson Herrera, who is already at AA Binghamton as a 20 year old. Mets' General Manager Sandy Alderson is likely aiming for a similar return for Colon out of a team that feels it needs a pitcher like him to make the playoffs, and he just might find one soon.
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