Braves’ staff has become antiques market with Colon (43), Dickey (42)

Bartolo Colon, here hitting an RBI single for the New York Mets against the Braves last season, has gotten as much attention for his physique as his pitching. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Bartolo Colon, here hitting an RBI single for the New York Mets against the Braves last season, has gotten as much attention for his physique as his pitching. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

The Braves are building a hell of a pitching staff. We just can’t be certain for which decade.

They have come to terms with the rotund 43-year-old, Bartolo Colon, on a one-year, $12.5 million contract. The deal, first reported by MLB.com’s Mark Bowman and confirmed by the Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien, follows Thursday’s signing of 42-year-old knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.

As long as Flomax isn’t on baseball’s banned drug list, Colon and Dickey could both be in the Braves’ starting rotation next season.

John Hart and John Coppolella, the Braves’ chief makeover artists, recognize what everybody else recognizes: The team’s starting rotation stinks. The Braves ranked 28th in the majors last season with a starters’ earned run average of 4.87 and 23rd in completed innings (880 1/3). The staff also had only one complete game, although that’s become a lost art in baseball (San Francisco and Boston led the majors with 10 and 9, respectively.)

The Braves’ rotation may be better one day, if enough of these prospects pan out, but that’s not the case now, and Hart and Coppolella have been frustrated by their development.  (They chose to make former pitching coach Roger McDowell the scapegoat for this and fired him, stunning folks around baseball.)

So until prospects become actual valuable commodities, Hart and Coppolella are attempting a short cut so the 2017 season. Maybe it works. Maybe it doesn’t. Either way, it’ll be entertaining.

An organization trying to project new/fresh/young/hip just signed two pitchers who are a combined 85 years old. Is there a Denny’s among the restaurants by SunTrust Park?

Assuming there’s no hardening of arteries between now and spring training, Colon and Dickey have shown the ability to do one important thing: consume innings.

Colon, who’s listed at 5-11, 285 pounds (and that may be before he puts his other foot on the scale) has pitched 190-plus innings in the last four seasons. Even at his age, he went 15-8 with a 3.43 ERA with the New York Mets last season.

Dickey threw 200-plus innings five straight seasons and pitched 169 2/3 last season in Toronto, going 10-15 with a 4.46 ERA.

Adding Colon or Dickey would be considered an interesting addition to a young rotation. Either could be fine as a bottom of the rotation starter. Adding both seems a little bit of overkill.

When I spoke to Chipper Jones in August, he said the Braves needed to add “a bona fide top-of-the-rotation starter.”

He also said. “… If you add a No. 1 pitcher, you make (Julio) Teheran second. It lengthens the rotation. Now (Mike) Foltynewicz can go against the other team’s third starter and so on.”

But apparently the Braves aren’t in the market to spend what it would take to bring in a top-of-the-rotation starter, either in salary or assets.

Welcome to your new Atlanta Braves. Can Phil Niekro be far behind?

Subscribe to the, “We Never Played The Game” podcast with Jeff Schultz and WSB’s Zach Klein. All episodes can be downloaded and heard on iTunes or here via WSBRadio.com. New episodes every Monday and Thursday. 

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15 comments
DamonH
DamonH

"But apparently the Braves aren’t in the market to spend what it would take to bring in a top-of-the-rotation starter, either in salary or asset"

Gotta be assets, dont want to give up the prospects required  ... they said multiple times last off season payroll was going to go up this off season so it's not salary that's the factor

TimLyons521
TimLyons521

Article after article defending the pathetic Dawgs and the Falcons and Schultz won't even apply logic to the Braves moves. Jeff, I'm sorry that you're upset the Braves moved to Cobb and not YOUR OTP haven of Johns Creek. If you would think for 15 seconds before writing another crappy article that makes me question my AJC subscription, you'd realize they have committed $20 million to two vets and none of it long term. Gonna look like a steal when some team gives a starter like Jeremy Hellickson 3/$45. Stick to your constant praise of the Falcons and Dawgs. Baseball ain't for you.

JiminMacon
JiminMacon

I hope AJC is not paying you, if they are they are they are dumber than you are. What a joke. I've seen better in high school papers.

oydave
oydave

Hayul yeah! Love this guy! And now he will stop beating us for at least a year.


But the guy who said below we need to bring David Ortiz here...oh hell to the no!

ATLBrown
ATLBrown

I'm okay with this.  Braves won't be a legit contender until 2018, there's not a lot of great SP free agents and you don't want to overpay for a mediocre SP and lock the team into a long-term bad contract.  Ideally, these two guys (who are still pitching quite well and eating innings) will hold down the fort this year while the young dudes develop.

jmccoy1252
jmccoy1252

Have you people taken a look at the Free Agent Market?  It's not impressive at all.  This is a process folks, you're just going to have to be patient.  For the idiot talking about the trades that were bad trades to begin with, please let me know which one. Chris Archer?  You can bet it would take more than Matt Wisler and Folky. The Rays will probably want one of the younger guys down on the farm right now.  Archer had a great strikeout ratio last season and that was it.  ERA over 4, and 30 Homeruns given up in only 201 innings.  Relax people.

ckdawgs
ckdawgs

Flomax, lol!  Good stuff Jeff Schultz

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

Key phrase in Jeff's post: "But apparently the Braves aren’t in the market to spend what it would take to bring in a top-of-the-rotation starter." Sound familiar?

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

One more try, the Braves likely could have acquired Chris Archer from the Rays for a couple of prospects and a cash payment say around $10 million. The Rays have two starting pitching prospects ready to join the rotation this year and will definitely move Archer and his contract.Too bad Hart/Coppy signed the Geritol twins for over $20 million.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

Since the Braves are antique collecting ,why not make a run at Big Papi to be a left handed bat off the bench. $20 million for about 150 plate appearances ought to be a fair offer. It will keep the fans in the seats until he gets his at bat in the 8th or 9th inning every home game. Heck sweeten the offer ,Big Papi only plays home games. Seriously Hart/Coppy over $20 million this year for two over 40 starting pitchers. Liberty must be planning on selling a lot of watered down beer at the new Cobb Mahal.

BTC
BTC

Maybe he'll do some offseason conditioning

Dawgcatcher
Dawgcatcher

If the Braves' leadership wasn't so pathetic, we would have a great laugh. Of course these prospects are not developing like they hoped. They were really bad trades to begin with. Although Braves fans aren't laughing, baseball fans elsewhere are.

Brando21
Brando21

It's good to see that Schultz hasn't become any less valueless. All 3 of the articles I have read of his have been so hilariously off base I would hate him if I didn't enjoy mocking and looking down on him so much.

DrTruth
DrTruth

"...285 pounds (and that may be before he puts his other foot on the scale)" & "Flomax".  Ha ha...Good stuff Schultz!


If the Johns aren't rolling the dice on 16-19 yr olds, they're rolling them on 42 & 43 yr olds.  Talk about riverboat gamblers!


Hope Colon has another decent year in him.  No doubt he's fun to watch...