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Jon Niese Rumors
A reigning Cy Young winner is on the trade block, and we've got all of today's updates on R.A. Dickey right here, with the newest items added to the top throughout the day:
- The Diamondbacks met with the Mets on Dickey, but talks didn't get far, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Martino hears the Mets' asking price is very high. He also notes that there's not much happening between the Mets and Blue Jays.
- The Dodgers have talked to the Mets about Dickey, reports MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. Gurnick notes that Dickey could be a fallback for Zack Greinke, or maybe the team will just sign both to have three Cy Young winners on the staff. The question is whether the Dodgers have the right players to pull off a deal.
- Talks for Dickey between the Mets and Red Sox were "very preliminary," a Major League source tells WEEI's Alex Speier, and a deal is extremely unlikely.
- There has been strong interest in Dickey today, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, but he's heard the Mets did not ask the Red Sox for specific players.
- The Mets met with eight teams today about Dickey, according to Adam Rubin and Joe McDonald of ESPN. The Red Sox were one of those teams, and the Mets wanted Xander Bogaerts andJackie Bradley Jr. in return. We heard earlier that the Sox didn't have interest in Dickey, so perhaps the Mets' exorbitant asking price is playing a part in that lack of interest.
- GM Sandy Alderson acknowledged that he's had "preliminary talks" with multiple teams about Dickey and other players, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. According to Alderson, there have been more conversations about Dickey than Niese, though that could change (Twitter link).
- Fair or not, Dickey's age and repertoire is making teams reluctant to give up significant talent for him, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Of course, as Martino adds in a second tweet, it just takes one club to step up and change that. Still, for now, Jonathon Niese is viewed as the more appealing Mets arm, according to Martino.
- Although the Mets are "more than willing" to discuss Dickey, the Red Sox haven't shown any interest, says Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com, noting that the Mets could do better than Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Twitterlinks).
- The Mets have gotten "serious" about trading ace knuckleballer Dickey as soon as this week, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark after hearing from a source. Stark says the Rangers and Royals are seen as the most logical fits.
- Earlier today, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News tweeted that he believes the Mets "genuinely don't know right now if they'll sign or trade" the NL Cy Young winner. The 38-year-old can become a free agent after the 2013 season.
Yesterday, the Blue Jays non-tendered Bobby Wilson, leaving J.P. Arencibia, John Buck, and Travis D’Arnaud as the remaining catchers on the 40-man roster. Here's the latest out of Toronto courtesy of Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports..
- Arencibia is the most likely to be moved and the Jays previously have talked about him in trades for pitchers such as Rays right-hander Wade Davis and Mets left-hander Jon Niese, according to major league sources. The Jays might need to give more than the 26-year-old to acquire such a pitcher, but aren’t necessarily eager to make that type of move.
- Toronto seems more inclined to add depth than find an upgrade over fifth starter J.A. Happ, sources say. Happ, 30, posted a 4.79 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 last season for the Astros and Blue Jays.
- With that in mind, the Jays could look to sign a low-end free agent pitcher as well as minor league free agents to ensure that they are better protected against injuries than they were throughout last season.
The latest on the Mets..
- Earlier today at the GM meetings, Sandy Alderson brought up the idea of possibly trading Jon Niese or Dillon Gee unprompted, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). The Mets will listen on anyone but are more reluctant to move Niese than others.
- A Mets official told Mike Puma of the New York Post (via Twitter) that the team probably won’t trade Daniel Murphy because of the void it would create at second base. Jordany Valdespin would be the alternative and he isn’t viewed highly enough in the organization to be moved up into that slot.
- The Mets announced that they have agreed to terms with catcher Mike Nickeas on a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training.
With less than one month remaining in the regular season it’s time for some teams to look ahead to the offseason. Here’s the latest on a pair of potential trade candidates…
- Justin Upton is aware that this could be his final month with the Diamondbacks, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports. Upton said he’s comfortable in Arizona, but prepared for the possibility of a trade. "I'm in a good place right now," he told Piecoro. "I'm in a good place mentally about it.” The Diamondbacks considered trade offers for Upton this summer and haven’t publicly ruled out the possibility of a winter trade.
- Baseball officials wonder if the Mets would trade Jon Niese, Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger reports. Rival executives have noticed Niese’s production (3.55 ERA in 165 innings) and believe the left-hander could bring the Mets a quality return in a potential trade. One executive told McCullough the Mets could get two or three prospects for Niese and others compared him to Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill. Niese is under team control through 2018 after signing a five-year, $25.27MM extension this spring.
- Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog weighs in and explains why the Mets would likely target "an established, young, under-control position player" if they put Niese on the market. Cerrone wonders if the Mets could match up with the Diamondbacks on a possible deal involving Upton and explains why trading Niese for a legitimate outfield bat could appeal to GM Sandy Alderson.
The Mets have officially signed left-hander Jonathon Niese to a five-year extension with two club options, the team announced. The deal is worth $25.5MM, and the two options could push the total value to $46MM. Niese is an O'Connell Sports Management client.
The deal cover Niese's final pre-arbitration season, his three arbitration seasons and at least one season of free agency. He will earn $1.02MM this year, $3MM next year, $5MM in 2014, $7MM in 2015, and $9MM in 2016. The pair of club options offers the Mets the opportunity to keep Niese in New York for two additional free agent years.
Niese, 25, has a 4.39 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 370 2/3 career innings. He posted career-best strikeout (7.9 K/9) and walk (2.5 BB/9) rates during a promising 2011 campaign, but didn't pitch after enduring an intercostal strain on August 23rd.
This extension represents the biggest contract the Mets have agreed to under GM Sandy Alderson. It resembles deals signed by starters Derek Holland, Clay Buchholz and Trevor Cahill. However, Niese obtains less guaranteed money than Buchholzand Cahill, who had considerably lower career ERAs when they signed.
ESPN New York's Adam Rubin first reported that the two sides agree to the deal and later added details (on Twitter). Newday's David Lennon provided the annual breakdown (on Twitter). Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.
It’s been a big week for extensions, as Joey Votto and Matt Cain signed historic contracts on Monday. Here are some extension updates from around the league, starting with a couple additional notes on Votto’s deal.
- John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer has the annual breakdown of Votto's deal (Twitter links). He'll earn $12MM in 2014, $14MM in 2015, $20MM in 2016, $22MM in 2017, and $25MM during each of the final six years. The club option for 2024 is worth $20MM with a $7MM buyout.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has a breakdown of Jonathon Niese's new extension with the Mets (on Twitter). The southpaw gets a $250K signing bonus with annual salaries of $769.5K, $3MM, $5MM, $7MM, and $9MM. The two club options ($10MM and $11MM) can each be bought out for $500K.
- Reds president and CEO Bob Castellini was the one driving the Votto deal, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick tweets. Other ownership groups have some concern over the ten-year deal, Crasnick adds.
- The Rangers are discussing a long-term deal with Ian Kinsler, and while the sides are in agreement on the contract length — six years — they haven’t yet found common ground in terms of contract value, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Kinsler doesn’t want to negotiate after the season begins on Friday.
- Casey Close, the agent for Zack Greinke, and Brewers GM Doug Melvin will speak tomorrow to “fill each other in on where discussions stand,” the GM told Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. Greinke had been representing himself, but his new agent will handle talks from here on.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
The Mets are nearing a five-year extension with left-hander Jonathon Niese that figures to be worth $28.5MM or so based on Derek Holland's recent deal. Here's the latest on talks between the Mets and Niese:
- The Mets' most recent offer to Niese was worth less than Holland's $28.5MM extension, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- The negotiations are progressing, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports (Twitter links). One source says the sides are "getting closer," so it's possible they'll agree to terms by Opening Day. Martino hears Niese's agent was talking to Mets GM Sandy Alderson today.
- Extending Niese would be a step in the right direction for the Mets, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post wrote this morning.
- The Mets’ proposal to Niese includes two option years, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter links). This is to be expected, since the deals for Derek Holland, Trevor Cahill and Clay Buchholz all included two team option years as well.
- A Mets official suggested the team may platoon Jason Bay in left field if he's struggling six or seven weeks into the season, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Team executives aren't discussing the idea yet and say it's too early to worry seriously about Bay, who has $32MM remaining on his contract with the Mets.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders how much speed the Mets will have without Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan.
5:08pm: Niese's contract extension would be for five years, a source confirmed to Mike Puma of the New York Post (via Twitter). The two sides are still discussing dollars and a deal could be reached "quickly".
4:10pm: While nothing is official yet, the contract has a chance to be completed before Opening Day, a source with "direct knowledge" of the talks tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (on Twitter).
3:48pm: Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal tweets that the paramaters for the contract are in place, but that it'd be wrong to suggest that it's a done deal. Costa does say that a deal is "likely," however. Rubin echoes the sentiment in a followup tweet.
Rubin writes that Niese's contract is believed to be similar to the five-year, $28.5MM extension that Derek Holland signed with the Rangers last month. As Rubin points out, the two have similar service time to date. Niese, like Holland, was already under team control for four more seasons.
Niese posted a 4.40 ERA in 157 1/3 innings of work last season with solid rate stats of 7.9 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, and a 51.5% groundball rate. He was the victim of some bad luck, as evidenced by an above average .333 BABIP and an abnormally low 67% strand rate. Stats such as FIP (3.36) and SIERA (3.42) suggest that his ERA could have been up to a full run lower.
The deal would likely represent the largest contract extension of general manager Sandy Alderson's tenure, as MLBTR's Extension Tracker shows. Previously, Alderson has agreed on smaller extensions with both Tim Byrdak and R.A. Dickey.
The Mets have expressed interest in Eric Young Jr. of the Rockies, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. Rubin's source indicated that the Mets may be able to obtain Young by sending Justin Turner to Colorado and that the teams continue discussing Jon Niese. However, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets that Turner's name hasn't come up yet.
Young, 26, has a .246/.324/.295 line with 15 extra base hits in 479 career plate appearances in three stints at the Major League level as an outfielder and second baseman. The Rockies' plans at second remain unclear, but the outfield has become crowded with the recent additions of Tyler Colvin and Michael Cuddyer.
The Rockies nearly traded Young to the Mariners during the Winter Meetings, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter). All signs point to a trade involving Young before Spring Training, Renck reports.