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Bartolo Colon might actually be a good fit for the Rockies

Bartolo Colon couldn't possibly be a viable candidate for the Colorado Rockies' 2016 rotation... could he?

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

We've all seen this movie before. The Rockies sign a pitcher well into his 40s, he pumps in slow fastball after slow fastball, gets crushed (remember this?), and the club is mocked relentlessly around Major League Baseball for thinking the guy could ever have been a non-terrible option in the first place.

Knowing that, why am I even writing an article about Bartolo Colon in the first place?

Actually ... he might not be as terrible of an option as you'd imagine at first glance. Let''s take a look at whether he might be a good fit for the Rockies in 2016.

The case for Bartolo Colon

1) He's a good pitcher

This is radical, I know, but stick with me for a minute. A recent tweet from fellow Purple Row writer Connor Farrell sums up what the Rockies should be trying to achieve:

Knowing that the Rockies need good players, also know that Colon is a good player. For five straight seasons, he has been worth 2.4 fWAR or better. As a reference, the Rockies have gotten 23 pitcher seasons of 2.4 fWAR or better in their entire 23 year history. That's an average of one per season. Over the past five years, Colon has also averaged one such season per season. Over those five seasons, Colon has put up a 3.67 ERA (97 ERA-), 3.65 FIP (93 FIP-), and 3.86 xFIP (98 xFIP). Those are good numbers and, if he can replicate them, they would be a very welcome addition to the Rockies' rotation.

2) He has impeccable command

As I wrote earlier this week, limiting walks is essential for Rockies pitchers, and Colon has been the absolute best in baseball in that department. His 1.11 walks per nine innings this season and his 1.27 walks per nine innings over the past three years are both the best in baseball among qualified pitchers. Colon is also the only free agent pitcher to throw over 50 percent of his pitches in the strike zone since 2013 (unless you count Cliff Lee). Not only is this good for himself, Colon could provide a great, first-hand look for the rest of the Rockies' young staff at what a pitcher who consistently works ahead in the count and does not put people on base can do. In addition to that, this approach allows Colon to work deep into games, which brings us to reason number three:

3) He is an actual innings eater

Before the season, we were all sold on Kyle Kendrick being the innings eater that would take the pressure off the bullpen and other young arms in the rotation. Obviously, that didn't pan out the way we had all hoped. Colon, however, could do in 2016 what we had all hoped Kendrick would do in 2015. For three straight seasons, Colon has made at least 30 starts and has thrown at least 190 innings while averaging just over 6⅓ innings pitched per start. If he could give the Rockies that kind of length, it would go a long way toward actually doing in 2016 what Kendrick was supposed to do in 2015.

4) He wouldn't be looking for a long-term deal

Colon will turn 43 early on in the 2016 season (I know, I know). That obviously has its downsides (we'll get to that later), but it can also be viewed in a positive light. Being in the twilight of his career means that Colon won't be looking for a long-term contract, which means he wouldn't be a long-term financial burden on the Rockies during their contention window if he doesn't pan out. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports projects that Colon will get a one year, $10 million contract this offseason, something that would be perfectly reasonable for the Rockies. If he pitches well in the first half, he could also have some trade value at the deadline if the Rockies were inclined to move him to a contender.

5) He is a national treasure

This doesn't really need much commentary, but you all know you want this guy on your team:

As great as that is, it can't all be sunshine and rainbows here.

The case against Bartolo Colon

1) He's old

As much as we love him and as consistently good as he's been the past several years, Father Time is undefeated. With every passing season, it becomes more and more likely that Colon won't be able to perform at the level he has been for the last few years. Do the Rockies want to risk that Father Time wins in 2016 and Colon becomes the latest over-the-hill pitcher who couldn't handle Coors Field? That risk has already burned the Rockies once recently.

2) He has diminishing velocity

We are already starting to see some of the effects of age on Colon. The 2015 season was the fourth consecutive season that he saw a decrease in his average fastball velocity. That's concerning for any pitcher, but it's particularly concerning for a pitcher like Colon who threw his fastball a whopping 83.8 percent of the time in 2015. Some pitchers have good secondary stuff to fall back on when their fastball begins to fail, but that really isn't the case with Colon. Can he survive another season with (probably) even less velocity?

3) The Rockies would probably need to overpay

Being on the tail end of his career, Colon would most likely prefer to play for a contender. The Rockies, as you may know, are not currently a contender. They also happen to play in the least pitcher friendly ballpark in the big leagues. Add that together, and Heyman's one year, $10 million projection I referenced earlier probably wouldn't be enough to convince him to come here. Would $12 million be enough to convince him? Um... $15 million?!

Would the Rockies need to add a second year to get him to consider a deal with them? Jeff Bridich and the front office must weigh these options, as well as how much is too much, before making any kind of serious pitch to Colon.

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Personally, I think it would behoove the Rockies to see if they can bring him to Colorado for a year. If everything goes well, the Rockies will have a capable, above-average innings eater who can mentor and take pressure off the rest of a young pitching staff while also providing some trade value if the club chooses to go that route.

If it doesn't go well, all the Rockies will have lost is some money in a short-term investment that doesn't hurt them when they reach their target contention window in 2017-18. What do you think? Does it make sense for the Rockies to go after Bartolo?