Expect Niese to be the Mets big trade chip this winter

Posted: August 6, 2014 in Future Mets, News, Opinion
Tags: , , , , ,

By Steven Inman

Photo by NY Post

Photo by NY Post

With Zack Wheeler and Jacob deGrom continuing to get better and better, expect LHP Jon Niese to be the pitcher dangled in trade talks this winter for a bat. Niese, 27, is 5-7 with a career best 3.24 ERA. Niese is also very cheap over the next few years thanks to a shrewd move by Sandy Alderson a few springs ago to lock up the young southpaw before he had established himself. The Mets can control Niese through the 2018 season at a discounted rate. Niese will make $7 million in 2015, $9 in 2016, followed by a pair of club options at $10 and $11 million each. So why would the Mets move Niese?

It is simple. The Mets simply don’t have room for all of their current pitchers.

Many teams will be concerned with Niese’s injury history but he has drawn interest in the past and the Mets could get the bat they are looking for in exchange for their lone left-hander. The Mets have had serious dialogue on trading Niese with teams like the Blue Jays and Padres in the past.

The Mets believe that their first pick in the 2009 draft from a few years ago Ward Melville’s Steven Matz could fill in as the left-hander in the rotation rather quickly. “One thing that’s becoming clear is the Mets wouldn’t be afraid to trade their only established lefty, Niese, in part because the highly-regarded {Steven} Matz is blossoming so quickly.” – John Harper of the Daily News. Matz is 8-7 with a 2.47 ERA in 116.2 innings between St. Lucie and Binghamton this season. He should make his debut at some point next season.

The Mets aren’t going to get a big bat from Colorado for Niese but perhaps they go to Chicago and see if they can pry a shortstop such as Starlin Castro, Javier Baez or Addison Russell away from the Cubs. (Most likely that’s the order the Cubs would be willing to trade them) Only time will tell.

If the Mets get an offer they like better for a Dillon Gee or Rafael Montero they could trade one of them for a bat instead of Niese but for now, it looks like Niese is the guy who could go. The Mets clearly need to trade for offense this winter.

 

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Comments
  1. mike Young says:

    Steve – After watching Niese pitch in his last few starts and again tonight vs. the Nats I was thinking as I watched tonight’s game that Niese could be a trade chip for the Mets to shop during the 2014 off season. With Harvey, de Grom and Wheeler not going any where and then Colon and his contract and with Montero still waiting in the wings, and Gee in his last few disappointing starts after coming off the DL again and Niese’s slow recovery after his recent DL stint one of them has got to go. Niese as a lefty with an affordable contract may be the most marketable of the three. Niese was very disappointing tonight. To me La Roche is just not as good as a number of Mets’ pitchers apparently think he is and allow him to be when they play the Nats and the Braves when La Roche was their 1st baseman. The Mets need to start getting this guy out more consistently if they are going to be competitive. Mike

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