Terry Collins said on Tuesday he’d like to add another bat to the Mets. On Wednesday, he got his wish — sort of.
According to a source, the Mets are close to finalizing a one-year, $7.25-million contract to bring back fan favorite Bartolo Colon. The agreement is pending a physical.
Of course, Colon is being re-signed because of his pitching ability, not his unique prowess at the plate. But Colon’s at-bats are a source of constant merriment for Mets fans and all across the Internet. He had eight hits, including a double, and four RBIs last season. He has struck out 113 times in 216 at-bats in 18 seasons, 15 in the American League.
Colon, who will turn 43 in May, will serve as the Mets’ fifth starter at least until Zack Wheeler returns in midseason from Tommy John surgery. Colon showed in the postseason that he could be effective as a swingman out of the bullpen as well.
Colon went 14-13 with a 4.16 ERA. In the postseason, he made seven appearances, all in relief, and went 1-1, 2.09.
Colon, the Mets’ Opening Day starter last season, will be the only longtime veteran in a rotation that includes Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz.
In the last week, the Mets traded Jon Niese to the Pirates for second baseman Neil Walker, signed free-agent shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and re-signed lefty reliever Jerry Blevins. They are still in the market for relief help, with their own free agent Tyler Clippard a consideration, and are seeking a lefthanded bat to share centerfield with Juan Lagares.
According to an ESPN.com analysis, the Mets are heading toward a $110-million payroll for Opening Day. That would be about a $10-million increase from last season’s opener.
There is no indication the Mets are considering expanding the payroll by another $20 million or so per season for a long-term deal to retain free-agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. At last week’s winter meetings, assistant general manager John Ricco called a reunion with Cespedes “unlikely.”
Mets name Scott bench coach. The Mets completed their 2016 coaching staff by naming Dick Scott as bench coach. He replaces Bob Geren, who left to take the same position with the Dodgers.
Scott, 53, was the Mets’ director of player development since 2013. Before that, he was their minor-league field coordinator in 2011 and 2012. He replaced Collins.
Collins, 66, signed a two-year extension after taking the Mets to the World Series. He has said it may end up being his last contract. If so, the Mets may be grooming Scott to replace Collins once again, this time in the manager’s office.
This is Scott’s first major-league coaching job. He was a minor-league manager in the 1990s before moving to the front office with the Blue Jays in 2001. A longtime minor-league shortstop, Scott’s major-league playing career consisted of three games with the 1989 A’s, whose general manager was Sandy Alderson. Scott went 0-for-2 with an RBI. He was drafted by the Yankees in the 17th round in 1981.