Jon Heyman first reported today that the Mets are talking to “3 or 4″ teams about the possibility of acquiring Jonathon Niese.Heyman said they were looking for prospects or possibly a catcher or pitcher. However, Mike Puma of the New York Post reported that the Mets will “probably” need a major league-ready pitcher in return for Niese.
Jonathon went 11-11 with a 4.40 ERA last season, lowering his walks per nine innings to a career-best 2.5 and raising his strikeouts per nine to a career-high 7.9. Niese is 22-23 in his career and would is under team control for the next four seasons.
OPINION: I’m glad the Mets are finally exploring their options. The past two seasons, the Mets have acted as if Niese is completely untouchable, which is ridiculous to think. He hasn’t had a spectacular career, however, he is still young and has a ton of potential. Niese is only 25 and he is left-handed, two traits that attract almost every major league team. The Mets probably won’t trade him, but if they get a decent offer, even one where they add a player along with Niese to get a better starter, they should do it. Niese’s value, if he keeps pitching like he has, will only go down as he gets older and no longer has that potential. I don’t see any reason why the Mets shouldn’t trade him either. His price will be driven up by the amount of teams trying to get him and by the time the Mets compete, he will be too expensive to keep around anyway. Capitalizing on his value right now, rather than wait until his value goes down due to age, salary, etc., seems like what needs to be done.