Mets’ Colon intends to return for 19th season at age 43
Encouraged by his performance this season, New York Mets veteran starter Bartolo Colon wants to give it at least one more season, his 19th, in the majors before he ends his career.
Colon, who is 14-13 with a 4.18 ERA and 135 strikeouts against 24 walks in 193 2/3 innings this season, made his plans known while speaking with reporters on Tuesday.
"For a personal record, I think it was OK," Colon told ESPN of his performance this season. "I know 14-13 means a lot for me. I think I did everything in my power to help the team, to put it in position to win. For me, personally, it was an OK season.
"If I get that opportunity, I’m going to continue to pitch and play," he added about his plans for next season — he’ll turn 43 on May 24.
The right-hander is in the final year of a two-year, $20-million contract with the Mets. Colon is 29-26 with a 4.14 ERA in 63 games (62 starts) since joining the club in 2014.
With 218 career wins, Colon ranks 79th all time and is just one victory shy of tying Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez as the second-winningest Dominican pitcher in history. Juan Marichal is first with 243.
"It’s really significant for me," Colon said. "It would mean a lot for me to be tied with Pedro for the second-most wins for a Dominican player. But even though I would be there with Pedro — we would have the same number of wins — Pedro was a better pitcher than me."
Colon, who signed as an amateur free agent with Cleveland in 1993, made his major-league debut as a 23-year-old with the Indians on April 4, 1997. He went 75-45 with a 3.92 ERA with the Tribe until he was sent to Montreal in a trade-deadline deal in 2002.
After going 10-4 with a 3.31 ERA in 17 starts for the Expos in the second half of the ’02 season, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox. He pitched one year for the Sox, then signed a free-agent deal with the then-Anaheim Angels.
As an LA Angel, Colon won the 2005 AL Cy Young Award after going 21-8 with a 3.48 ERA. He stayed with Halos through 2007, pitched for the Boston Red Sox in ’08, the White Sox in ’09, the New York Yankees in ’10 and the Oakland A’s in 2012-13 before joining the Mets as a free agent before the 2014 season.
With the Mets winning the NL East, Colon is headed to his seventh postseason. Colon features a 2-4 record with a 3.70 ERA in 10 postseason starts, pitched in one ALCS (with the ’98 Indians) and six Division Series.
Colon is a three-time All-Star, making the team in 1998, ’05 and ’13.