The Oakland Athletics do not have too many offseason decisions to make. Yet, the few choices they make could determine whether they return to the playoffs.
Perhaps the biggest offseason questions surround Bartolo Colon’s future.
Colon was an ace last season, the most consistent starter that the A’s possessed. He made the All-Star team and was a key element to the playoff run, finishing the season 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA.
However, Colon is 40 years old. Although pitchers can pitch well deep into their careers, not that many pitchers can pitch successfully past 40. Colon’s physical features would not make him a likely candidate to accomplish the unlikely. Of course, it is entirely possible that Colon can pitch well for another couple years. He himself said he had three years left in the tank.
As of right now, the Athletics have five legitamate starting pitchers not named Bartolo Colon likely in the organization for next season (Sonny Gray, Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin, Tommy Milone, Dan Straily) and have also indicated that they intend to bring Brett Anderson back.
With all the depth the A’s have at the position, it would seem as if the addition of a seventh starting pitcher is unnecessary. However, over the course of a 162-game season, injuries happen … just ask Brett Anderson. The A’s need to get all the depth they can get and Bartolo Colon could be the answer.
The depth could also help preserve Colon’s much used arm; a Colon injury would not be the end of the world.
In the end, it all comes down to money for the Oakland Athletics. Bob Melvin has said that he wants Colon back, but how much money is Colon worth?
Because Colon is a good fit for the A’s and seemingly has some gas left in the tank, the A’s should be willing to shell out a decent amount of money for him. A one year deal between $5 million and $7 million would benefit the Athletics, although it is risky investing that kind of money into a 40-year-old. If Colon produces like he did last year, one of the best starting rotations would reside in Oakland.
Although the Oakland Athletics did not offer Colon a qualifying offer (worth $14.1 million), they are still front runners to sign him. If they can get him at a decent price, Colon must be an Athletic next season.