Bartolo Colon doesn't want his final Major League Baseball appearance to be when he allowed four earned runs in 0.2 innings as a member of the Texas Rangers in a September 2018 loss to the Seattle Mariners.
"If it was up to me, I would retire with the Mets," he said. "I would like my career to end in New York."
Colon's rookie campaign came in 1997, and he has pitched 21 seasons for the Cleveland Indians, Montreal Expos, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Mets, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves and Rangers.
While he said he would be willing to play anywhere, the fact he pointed to the Mets should come as no surprise given his comments about his three years on the team from 2014 through 2016:
"That Mets team was really something special. I've played with 10 teams, but with the Mets, the way all those players treated me, how that entire franchise treated me, from the front office to the kitchen staff, it was amazing. And Mets fans are the best. In the beginning, when they laughed at me every time my helmet fell off, at first I felt uncomfortable. But when I saw how much the fans enjoyed it, I asked for a bigger batting helmet so that it would fall more because it was so much fun for them!"
New York went to the playoffs in two of those three years, including when it advanced to the World Series in 2015.
In his prime, Colon was one of the best pitchers of his generation as a four-time All-Star who won the American League Cy Young in 2005 with the Angels. He finished that season with a 3.48 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 157 strikeouts in 222.2 innings.
Colon was also impressive during his three seasons with the Mets and tallied a 3.90 ERA and 1.23 WHIP.
However, he finished the 2017 season with the Twins and Braves with a 6.48 ERA and the 2018 campaign with the Rangers with a 5.78 ERA. He no longer resembled the same pitcher who challenged for All-Star Games and Cy Young awards and was largely a liability.
While he acknowledged it will be difficult to earn another opportunity after being away from the game last year, especially given his most recent performances, Colon would still be a veteran leader with postseason experience if a team were willing to take a flier on him in 2020.