What I am going to do now is break down the three separate Colon timetables; one will be from 1998-2005, the next is from 2006-2010 and the last one is from 2011-June 3, 2014. After I mention the total numbers, I will follow it up with averages over the 8, 5 and 4 seasons.
Colon signed with the Cleveland Indians as an amateur free agent in 1993. He had success at just about every level in the minor leagues, making 21 starts in 1995 for A Kinston going 13-3, 1.96, a year later going 2-2, 1.74 in 13 games, 12 starts for AA Canton-Akron, finishing off the season as a reliever (8 games) for AAA Buffalo. In 1997, Colon was 7-1, 2.22 in 10 starts for Buffalo before getting his call up to the big leagues.
His first stretch will be by far his best in the big leagues, no matter how well he pitches from here on out. From 1998-2005, Colon was 135-75, 3.84 over the course of 261 starts. He also pitched 1725 2/3 IP over that span, among the most in all of baseball. He averaged 17 wins, 9 losses, 33 starts and 216 IP over those 8 seasons. This included two 20 win seasons and a AL Cy Young Award (2005).
The next stretch saw what seemed to be the beginning of the end to Colon's baseball career. After his Cy Young season of 2005, he made just 10 starts in 2006, pitched to an over 6.00 ERA in 18 starts in 2007 and missed the entire 2010 season. Over the span of 2006-2010, Colon was 14-21, 5.18 in 47 starts, pitching just 257 innings. This came out to an average of 3 wins, 4 losses and an average of 9 starts and 51 innings per season.
The beginning of Colon's comeback started when he signed a minor league deal with the Yankees prior to the 2011 season. He seemed to be the odd man out, losing his battle for the 5th spot in the team's rotation. By the 3rd week of April, Colon was making starts, and after 3 relief appearance, he had earned a regular spot in the team's rotation. His first 11 starts, which spanned from April 20 to July 2, he was 6-2, 2.34 while pitching 73 innings- which came out to an average of just less than 7 innings a start. Though he tired down the stretch of the season, he signed a deal with the Oakland Athletics for the 2012 season. He was solid (10-9, 3.43 in 24 starts) but his season was marred by a 50 game suspension for a failed drug test which found that he was using a banned performance enhancing substance.
When people knock Colon because of his age, weight and the fact that he served a 50 games suspension, it is still hard to knock his performance in the 2013 season when the A's brought him back on a 1 year deal. Colon was 18-6, 2.65 with a WHIP of 1.166- the lowest since his Cy Young season of 2005. Outside of Max Scherzer, Yu Darvish and Hishashi Iwakuma- the three finalists for the AL Cy Young Award, Colon was the next best pitcher in the entire AL- over guys like Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez and Jon Lester.
What Colon provides for the Mets is something they need from a veteran pitcher- innings. He has still not pitched 200 plus innings since 2005, but that should change assuming he makes the remainder of his 2014 starts. His 41 wins since 2011 have improved his career record to 194-133, which is a .593 winning percentage. He also just passed the 2000 strikeout mark for his career.
I disagree with the thought of an all young rotation for any team. Remember, the Giants used guys like Matt Morris, Barry Zito and Randy Johnson when they had their young starting pitching influx. The Mets of 1984 used pitchers like Mike Torres, Bruce Berenyi and Ed Lynch while they broke in the young pitchers. Even the 1969 Mets needed a 33 year old Don Cardwell even with the likes of Seaver, Koosman and Gentry. Say what you want about Colon, but I think he is a decent pitcher will provide more ups than downs. If the Mets have an overload of starting pitching depth (which never seems to work out that way), Colon can be moved to a Pennant contending team. There will be a demand for him, even at his age.