Emilio Bonifacio has been on the disabled list since mid-August with a sprained knee and told reporters today that he won’t play again this season.
Bonifacio also missed time earlier this year with a sprained thumb, so he finishes the season with just 64 games after playing a career-high 152 games in 2011. He also regressed offensively, hitting .258 with a .645 OPS after batting .296 with a .753 OPS last year, although Bonifacio did steal 30 bases while being caught only three times.
In his absence Justin Ruggiano and Gorkys Hernandez are splitting time as the Marlins’ center fielder, and Ruggiano at least has emerged as a value player by hitting .326 with 13 homers and a .972 OPS in 75 games at age 30.
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.