The New York Mets are 48–53 this season, eight games behind the Washington Nationals in the NL East. Crazier things have happened, but it's probably safe to say that they aren't going anywhere in 2014. With Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard slated to join an underrated starting rotation in 2015, the club could stand to move a starter. Naturally, the guy to get the heave-ho will be the 41-year-old Bartolo Colon.
Heard Mets trying hard to move Bartolo Colon, which isn’t exactly a surprise. Also no surprise: Dodgers trying hard to move Kemp.— Danny Knobler (@DannyKnobler) July 22, 2014
The Tigers haven't shown any interest in Colon yet, but should they?
WHY THIS MAKES SENSE
While the Tigers don't need a starter, acquiring someone like Colon can have repercussions throughout the roster. Any trade for a starting pitcher will likely move Drew Smyly to the bullpen for the rest of the season, save for an occasional spot start. While Smyly's long-term future is in the rotation, he is currently on pace to throw nearly twice as many innings as he did in 2013. Moving Smyly to the bullpen will both limit his innings — possibly keeping him fresh for a deep playoff run — and provide a huge upgrade to the bullpen.
Additionally, Colon is under contract through the 2015 season. While this could be an issue in itself, it gives the Tigers an extra year to let one of the current minor league arms develop (assuming Max Scherzer is not re-signed this offseason). Robbie Ray has struggled recently, and Drew VerHagen ran into trouble in his lone spot start. Colon is still pitching well, allowing a 3.50 FIP while averaging 6⅔ innings per start.
Also, GIFs. So. Many. GIFs.
WHY THIS DOESN'T MAKE SENSE
For one, the Tigers don't seem to be in the market for a starting pitcher. While they have been linked to several players, all but one — Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, courtesy of Jon Heyman — have been relief pitchers.
The biggest reason why acquiring Colon could be a concern is his age. Already 41 years old, Colon is barely scraping 90 mph with his fastball, which he uses almost exclusively. He is also due a guaranteed $11 million next season with no contract option or buyout attached. Given the Tigers' recent luck with aging pitchers, that deal could become problematic at almost any time.
It makes sense on paper, but there's little chance of the Tigers picking up a starter at the deadline when a reliever will come cheaper.