The winter meetings are underway, and the Mets have made left handed pitcher Jon Niese available, but are not actively shopping him.
The price for starting pitching is now at a premium, and not all ball clubs are willing to sign pitchers to monster contracts like we have seen over the past week. So, the trade route is the best route for bringing in talent for a fraction of the cost.
Niese holds value for teams that are in need of a solid, middle-to-back-end of the rotation pitcher, with a favorable contract.
Niese’s contract makes him movable, and attractive to several clubs.
Niese is owed just over $9 million dollars in ’16, and has club options for ’17 and ’18 at $10 and $11 million dollars a year, which is more than affordable in today’s market. He also has buyouts for his options years for only around $500k.
Another positive of Jonathan Niese is that he has been fairly consistent while pitching in the big leagues. Niese owns an era of 3.91 for his career. He is also fairly durable, never pitching less than 140 innings in a season.
So what could the Mets get in return for Niese?
It’s unsure what exactly the team could get, however we do know what teams would be a good fit for Jonathan.
The Cardinals would also be a good spot. They lost out on the David Price sweepstakes, and are currently in the market for a starting pitcher, Niese could be a solid addition for the Cards in exchange for salary relief and a player to be named.
The Diamondbacks would be another possible suitor for Niese. The D’backs recently inked Zack Greinke to the most lucrative contract ever for a starting pitcher, and are still in the market for additional pitching to support Greinke in the rotation. Niese would be a nice fit at the back end of the rotation, and would get good run support in Arizona.
At this point in time the biggest reasons the Mets would move Niese are that he’s the odd man out in the rotation, and for salary relief. With prices rising on their young stars, the team needs to find any sort of financial breathing room they can.
Niese is a guy that would be a perfect fit for a contender that needs a pitcher to complete their rotation.
I asked Mets expert Michael Baron what he thought the team could get for Niese:
Hopefully salary relief, if they can/decide to move him. https://t.co/rbME0raus1
— Michael Baron (@michaelgbaron) December 7, 2015
It is unsure at this point if anyone has contacted the Mets regarding Niese, but we do know the Mets would not be afraid to pull the trigger on a deal.
Niese is a solid pitcher with plenty left in the tank. He is a luxury the Mets can use to their advantage. Either ship him for salary relief, or keep him as a solid depth piece in case of injury and until Zack Wheeler returns from Tommy John surgery mid season.