Four and a half years ago, Bartolo Colon vanished.
It was reasonable to think his playing career was over at age 36, with his fastball losing velocity and injuries and ineffectiveness plaguing him since he won the Cy Young in 2005.
Colon was supposed to be out on a rehab assignment for the White Sox, but didn't report to Triple-A Charlotte.
"Efforts to contact his agent have been successful," general manager Kenny Williams told reporters at the time. "Their efforts to contact their client have not been so successful."
Colon returned from his first rehab assignment to start for the then-first place White Sox on July 24, but was again placed on the disabled list after that outing. The White Sox couldn't find him -- Ozzie Guillen said Colon might've gone into mourning over the death of Michael Jackson -- and he never pitched for the organization again at any level.
Fast-forward to this week, and Colon landed a two-year deal worth $20 million with the New York Mets. And it's a well-earned deal for the 40-year-old Colon, whose 2.99 ERA is the fourth-lowest ERA of any starting pitcher since the beginning of 2012.
Colon missed the entire 2010 season but resurfaced in 2011 sporting a mid-90's fastball and a controversially-repaired elbow and rotator cuff. He was suspended 50 games in September of 2012 after failing a testosterone test, but returned to Oakland in 2013 with a 2.65 ERA in 30 starts.
In the summer of 2009, the thought of Colon getting a $20 million contract that takes him through his age-42 season would've been laughable. After all, you can't give a contract to a guy you can't find.