The Braves announced early Thursday afternoon that they’ve designated veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon for assignment, thus cutting ties with the player that they hoped would be their most impactful offseason addition.
Colon, 44, had plenty of success during the first four years of his 40s, particularly during the 2016 season, when he posted a 3.43 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 34 games for the Mets, making his fourth All-Star appearance. With the Mets bringing back Zack Wheeler and looking to give opportunities to younger guys like Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo going into 2017, though, Colon chose to move on to Atlanta, signing a one-year deal worth $12.5 million in November.
Unfortunately for Colon, his agelessness seemingly wore off with his move, as he posted an 8.14 ERA with a 1.78 WHIP, 42 strikeouts, and 20 walks over 63 innings this season. He spent about three weeks on the disabled list this month with a left oblique strain, but he didn’t fare any better after returning from the injury on Wednesday night, allowing six earned runs on eight hits and three walks over four innings as the Braves lost to the Padres.
A large part of the reason it made sense for the Braves to sign Colon is that they would have been able to trade him to a contender and bolster their farm system at the deadline. With that no longer being a possibility, though, they’ll move forward with a rotation of Julio Teheran, Jaime Garcia, R.A. Dickey, Mike Foltynewicz, and Sean Newcomb.
Atlanta now has seven days to trade, release, or outright Colon, with the large likelihood being that he’ll be released.