Some minor league affiliate news: the Mets have purchased the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League. The Chiefs will become their new Triple-A affiliate following the 2018 season.
The Chiefs have been the Nationals’ top affiliate for the past nine years and, before that, was the Blue Jays top club for decades. The franchise has also been community owned for decades, but have experienced financial difficulties in recent years, so it certainly helps out for the Mets to take over.
The Mets have flown in their prospects from Las Vegas since 2013. Before that they were affiliated with Buffalo for four seasons and New Orleans for two. Before that they had been affiliated with Norfolk/Tidewater since 1969. No one like their affiliate to be in Las Vegas due to the high elevation and hot dry weather — it’s murder on pitchers — so the Mets will certainly be happy to be gone from there.
They still have one more year to go, however, as the Mets affiliation argeement with Las Vegas and the Nats’ agreement with Syracuse runs through 2018.
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.