You knew it was coming. Even I, non-genius that I am, knew it was coming. The Atlanta Braves have designated Bartolo Colon for assignment. Signing him for $12.5 million was a move that didn’t work, which isn’t quite the same as being a bad move.
Through last season, Colon had proved he was really good at eating innings. He didn’t throw hard. He didn’t miss bats. He just worked a lot of competitive innings, year upon year upon decade. That was why the Braves hired him. The risk therein was that, at his advanced age, there’d come a day when he stopped being a competitive pitcher. That day came.
Credit the Braves with this: They gave him a chance — and last night’s start in San Diego practically stamped, “Last Chance” — but they didn’t try to string it out to the point of absurdity. They didn’t move him to the bullpen. They didn’t run him back out there in the attempt to stir a glimmer of trade hope. They DFA’ed him. He gets the rest of his salary. They move on.
Remember what John Coppolella said two weeks ago of the moves to rent Colon and R.A. Dickey: They Braves sacrificed no prospects in making those acquisitions; all they spent was money. (And Dickey, it must be said, has been excellent the past few turns.) It was a move that didn’t work; it was also a move that, in the grand scheme, didn’t hurt much of anything except the team’s record, and then only over 13 starts.
We can make the argument that, with Dickey already signed, the Braves didn’t need Colon, too. We can make the argument — I have — that the Braves could have trusted their farm system more. We can second-guess this one until the cows come home, but the point is moot. They’ve moved on. They had to do it. They’ve done it.