Former Cleveland Indians pitcher Bartolo Colon, now with the New York Mets, has been placed on revocable trade waivers, and is eligible for a team to claim him.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) August 25, 2014
It should not necessarily be interpreted that the Mets are desperate to ditch Colon, even though he is on revocable trade waivers. MLB teams put nearly every player on these waivers after the trade deadline, as any team claiming a player (the claim order is the reverse of the standings) must then either work out a trade with the owner club, and the club placing a player on waivers is under no obligation to trade the player — in this instance, the Mets could simply pull Colon back off waivers and keep him, if a team were to claim Colon and New York was uninterested in trading with the claiming team. Colon would not be eligible to be placed back on trade waivers this season if this scenario were to pass.
Any players traded after the July 31 trading deadline must go through this process if they’re on a major league 40-man roster — players not on the 40-man do not have to pass waivers to be traded.
There’s danger in claiming players all willy-nilly, though. In the above scenario, if a team were to claim Colon, and New York simply wanted to rid itself of Colon’s remaining salary (whatever is left of his $9 million dollar 2014 salary, and $11 million dollars in 2015), it could simply accept the other team’s claim, and effectively “stick” the claiming team with Colon.
Now, if a team were actually in desperate need of pitching, such as maybe the Los Angeles Angels, or perhaps even the rival Detroit Tigers, getting stuck with Colon’s salary (and production) for nothing in return isn’t such a bad deal. But it shows why, if all players are placed on these trade waivers, not all players are simply claimed (it’s hard to imagine any teams would be rushing to make a claim on someone like say, Justin Verlander, and the $28 million a year he’s owed for the next five years even if he did have a return to form from his rough season). For what it’s worth, the Mets do not appear to simply want to shed Colon’s salary.
The Cleveland Indians have been the beneficiaries of excellent starting pitching in the second half, and it’s unclear if the team would be interested in a reunion with its former ace. The Indians would have a higher waiver priority than many of the teams potentially interested in Colon, and it’s never a bad thing to have more starting pitching, particularly one with, um, experience, like Colon has.
For all the jokes about his weight and age, the 41-year-old Colon has been excellent this season, with a 3.82 ERA in 167.1 IP, and an absurd 1.2 walk rate per nine innings. Colon isn’t a token waiver claim, he’s a potential impact acquisition.
The Indians won’t be the only team interested – the Pittsburgh Pirates, Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics are all mentioned as suitors, and it’s unclear exactly what would entice the Mets to deal Colon. But New York has a few weak areas, namely shortstop and outfield, and Cleveland has some enticing non-roster options to offer the Mets in this area, which teams such as the Angels or Athletics don’t (most of the talent of those teams is at the big-league level, and therefore would have to clear waivers to be traded). This is a good sign if Cleveland is indeed interested in Colon.
Should the Indians Claim Bartolo Colon?
- Yes, but only if they don't have to give up anything of value (50%, 1 Votes)
- No, he's not worth the claim (50%, 1 Votes)
- Only if the Indians still let him bat (50%, 1 Votes)
- Maybe, but only at the right price (0%, 0 Votes)
- Yes, at all costs - another starter would be huge for a playoff push (0%, 0 Votes)
- No, I'd rather see starts go to the young pitchers such as House and Carrasco (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 2