Mets sign 40-year-old Bartolo Colon for two years, $20 million

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Mets have agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with Bartolo Colon.

Colon going from out of baseball in 2010 to throwing 507 innings with a 3.32 ERA over the past three seasons is a remarkable story, especially considering he was 38 years old when the comeback began.

Now he’s 40 and coming off a 2.65 ERA in 30 starts for the A’s, but Colon’s secondary numbers are far less impressive. He managed just 117 strikeouts in 190 innings and essentially now just pumps low-90s fastballs for strikes and relies on good defense behind him.

Don’t expect him to post another sub-3.00 at age 40–or at age 41 in 2015–but at this point $8-$10 million per season is the going rate for a decent veteran starter and his market was strong enough that a multi-year commitment was needed to get a deal done.

Meanwhile, the A’s essentially replaced Colon in the rotation by signing Scott Kazmir to a two-year, $22 million deal.

Astros clinch AL West for third consecutive year

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For the third consecutive season, the Astros are AL West champions. The ‘stros clinched the division on Sunday afternoon with a convincing 13-5 win over the Angels. They were backed by three homers from leadoff man George Springer and individual homers from Alex Bregman and Aledmys Díaz.

Springer has the 22nd three-homer game in baseball this season. He’s the first Astro to hit three homers in a game since Yordan Álvarez last month, on August 10.

Justin Verlander lasted five innings in Sunday’s start, yielding two runs on six hits and a pair of walks with five strikeouts. The right-hander is arguably the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young Award, now 20-6 with a 2.53 ERA and a 288/42 K/BB ratio in 217 innings on the year. Verlander is 12 strikeouts shy of the 300-strikeout milestone and six strikeouts short of 3,000 for his career. If the Astros stay on schedule, Verlander would pitch the second-to-last game of the regular season against the Angels.

Sunday’s win marked No. 102 on the season for the Astros. The franchise record is 103 wins set last year. With six games remaining, it seems likely the Astros will set a new record.

The Astros and Yankees both won on Sunday, meaning the Astros remain a half-game ahead in the race for home field advantage. The No. 1 seed will also have the privilege of playing the Wild Card winner, which is down to the Athletics, Rays, and Indians.