Not only was Evan Meek designated for assignment last week by the Pirates just two years after being an All-Star, the 29-year-old reliever passed through waivers unclaimed.
And it wasn’t because he has some kind of huge contract, because a) he’s only making $875,000 this year, and b) any team claiming him would only be on the hook for a few weeks of salary anyway. Instead he’ll remain with the Pirates at Triple-A, but is no longer on the 40-man roster.
Meek spent most of this season at Triple-A, posting a nice-looking 2.74 ERA in 46 innings despite a not-so-nice 41/26 K/BB ratio. He has a 3.34 ERA in 173 career innings as a big leaguer, but has logged a total of just 33 innings for the Pirates since being named to the 2010 All-Star team.
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.