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Mets rumors: Bartolo Colon likely won't be traded at the deadline

The 42-year-old ageless wonder was supposedly to be a fill-in until the Mets young pitching was ready.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Bartolo Colon is like a fine wine, he gets better with age.

The 42-year-old is off to a fantastic start in 2015.  4-1 and a 3.31 ERA in 32 and 2/3 innings pitched. This start has made the Mets front office change their plans about trading Colon, according to Andy Martino of NY Daily News.

Now, seeing the benefits of Colon’s experience and leadership, the Mets are not expecting to make him available this July, unless trading him would somehow directly improve their playoff chances. Team insiders say that the plan began to change late last season, as they got to know Colon better.

That means that young guns like Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Rafael Montero will have to find another way into the rotation.

A departure from the obvious plan

When Colon was brought into Flushing, it was as a stop-gap while those young guys (Syndergaard, Matz and Montero) got the seasoning they needed in the minors. The Mets signed Colon to a 2-year deal in 2013 with an obvious expiration of this July as the club expected to graduate their young talent, making Colon expendable. They even tried moving him last July but couldn't get a deal done.

Colon has pitched so well that the Mets reportedly don't want to move him, but these young power arms are getting closer and closer. Montero has already made one spot-start for the Mets, although he is traveling back to New York for an MRI on his shoulder. Syndergaard and Matz are both pitching well in Triple-A and at some point they will have done all they can at that level.

If not Colon, then who (and could net a non-zero return)?

There is an old saying in baseball: you can never have too much pitching. That is true, especially in the Mets case. They've already lost Zack Wheeler to Tommy John surgery, but haven't missed a beat on the field. At some point in the coming months Syndegaard, Matz and Montero will all be ready to join the big league team.

It's at that point that the Mets will have to reevaluate their situation and perhaps listen to offers on Colon, Dillon Gee, or Jon Niese.

Having veterans in the rotation is key to a pennant race, but these young arms will soon force general manager Sandy Alderson into some tough, tough decisions. At the center of those decisions in a 42-year-old starter who has reinvented himself as a pitching wizard, and has turned his at-bats into a spectacle.