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Bartolo Colon to Braves: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 11, 2016

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 01: Bartolo Colon #40 of the New York Mets in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during a game at Citizens Bank Park on October 1, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Bartolo Colon will pitch again in 2017 after the Atlanta Braves reportedly signed him to a free-agent contract Friday. 

Mark Bowman of MLB.com first reported word of the agreement. Robert Murray of FanRag Sports confirmed the report. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports passed along the financial details, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post noted there is not an option attached.

Rosenthal also reported another detail about Colon's upcoming salary:

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

Colon’s $12.5M salary with #Braves will be his highest since 2007, when he earned $16M with #Angels. Made $7.25M with #Mets last season.

This comes after the 43-year-old Colon helped anchor the New York Mets staff in 2016 on the way to the postseason even though they lost Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz to season-ending injuries.

Colon appeared in 34 games in 2016, which tied a career-high mark (2001, 2003 and 2004). He finished the year with a 3.43 ERA and 1.21 WHIP and reached his fourth All-Star Game.

The right-hander was one of the most dominant pitchers in the league in his prime. He won the 2005 American League Cy Young Award with the Los Angeles Angels behind a 3.48 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. It was one of 10 seasons in which he posted an ERA below 4.00 in his impressive major league tenure:

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Bartolo Colon's Career Stats
SeasonTeamInningsERAWHIPStrikeouts
1997Cleveland Indians945.651.6266
1998Cleveland Indians2043.711.39158
1999Cleveland Indians2053.951.27161
2000Cleveland Indians1883.881.39212
2001Cleveland Indians222.14.091.39201
2002Cleveland Indians/Montreal Expos233.12.931.24149
2003Chicago White Sox2423.871.20173
2004Anaheim Angels208.15.011.37158
2005Los Angeles Angels222.23.481.16157
2006Los Angeles Angels56.15.111.4631
2007Los Angeles Angels99.16.341.6276
2008Boston Red Sox393.921.3827
2009Chicago White Sox62.14.191.4438
2011New York Yankees164.14.001.29135
2012Oakland Athletics152.13.431.2191
2013Oakland Athletics190.12.651.17117
2014New York Mets202.14.091.23151
2015New York Mets194.24.161.24136
2016New York Mets191.23.431.21128
Source: ESPN.com

Age is something of a concern with a new contract at 43 years old, but he finished with head-turning numbers in 2015 at age 42. There is no reason to think he cannot at least be a solid innings-eater again after pitching more than 190 innings in each of the last four campaigns.

He also has plenty of postseason experience with 17 appearances and 10 starts. He has a 3.49 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in those games and can provide veteran leadership for a team with playoff aspirations in 2017. 

The Dominican Republic native becomes the second veteran starter to join the Braves in as many days. On Thursday, Atlanta announced the signing of 42-year-old knuckleballer R.A. Dickey as it looks to add some leadership to a young team preparing to turn the corner after an extensive rebuild.

While Colon may not be the most vital member of the Braves staff, which is led by Julio Teheran, he gives them formidable depth and a playoff-tested arm should the team finally start to climb back up the standings in 2017.

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