A couple of months ago, if you told me that Carlos Zambrano was going to retire after the 2012 season, I would have asked how he’d ever make it that long. He’s been pitching well lately, however. So well, in fact, that it’s not too hard to imagine him being a solid starter again for several years.
Nope. Big Z says he’s done after 2012:
“I told you the other day, this will be my last contract. This will be my last contract. I won’t be playing anymore. I
don’t want to play anymore. Life is short. Sometimes you miss things
with your family, like very important people, like my daughter.
Sometimes you miss things in life because of baseball that you shouldn’t
miss. I want to be there any moment for my daughter and my family.
Baseball takes a lot of time away from us.”
This has been an ugly season for Zambrano, but if he can return to being the guy he was a few years ago — a horse who took the ball every fifth day and who kept the crazy to an amusing minimum — I’d be sad if he hung it up after 2012.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.