Keep that racket down!

Bartolo Colon cleared waivers and can now be acquired by any MLB team. Every analyst I’€™ve heard has urged the same caution: 

"Colon is going to be 42 next season. Teams are wary of committing $11 million to a guy that aged."

Wait, is Colon now so decrepit he can’€™t come close to maintaining his recent track record? I doubt it. Is he going to lose his impeccable command next April because he’€™s six months older? Probably not.  

The past four years, Colon has averaged 2.85 fWAR. He’€™s on pace this season for roughly 2.5. Let’€™s assume the 365 days of whatever happens to a pitcher between age 41 and age 42 causes him to fall off. Why should it be a drastic rather than gradual fall from grace? He’€™ll still be great. Not adequate, splendid. 

Colon is no longer dependent on velocity. He relies heavily on movement and the ability to place the ball in the most advantageous locations. He’€™s not perfect, but he’€™s solid in both regards. He may feel a little stiffer getting out of bed next year, but he’ll feel fine when it matters.  

Zack Greinke will make $23 million next season and $24 million the season after. Colon has been more valuable since the start of last season. The value of a win is an inexact science, but if the going rate is roughly $6 million, Colon is very unlikely to be overpaid next season. 

Bartolo Colon isn’€™t young, but he’€™s shown he can be great even at his advanced age. A year from now, he’€™ll still be pitching well. There’€™s no drastic drop-off on the horizon next year. He’€™ll simply be showing up with the early morning crowd at Perkins in camp next year.