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Jon Niese Rumors
The Mets could have kept R.A. Dickey and sent Jon Niese to the Blue Jays for prospects Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard this offseason, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports. One of Martino's sources said the Blue Jays have always loved Niese. “They absolutely would have done that,” the person said. Some Mets people actually preferred Dickey to Niese, according to Martino. The Blue Jays ultimately acquired Dickey from the Mets for a package of players including d’Arnaud and Syndergaard.
Now for some more links related to the AL East…
- Mike Napoli told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that the environment in Texas "was awesome" because of a great core group of players. The 31-year-old said he kept talking to the Rangers during his time as a free agent but decided to sign with the Red Sox after speaking to GM Ben Cherington and manager John Farrell. “I think going through the whole thing I was hoping we would work it out in Boston,” Napoli told Bradford. “The role did play into it, but I think going into it and other teams being involved I still had my mind set that I was going to come to Boston.”
- While the Red Sox once had 'too much' bullpen depth, health issues have depleted the team's pitching and a spring trade no longer seems necessary, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal writes.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney wonders if the Yankees could pursue Scott Rolen, Don Kelly or Russ Canzler in the aftermath of the injury to Mark Teixeira. Ken Davidoff of the New York Post noted earlier today that the Yankees’ alternatives include Carlos Lee and Tyler Colvin.
The Dodgers have dominated the headlines in Hollywood for most of the winter but the Angels stole the spotlight today by reaching agreement with Josh Hamilton on a five-year, $125MM contract. Here are a few items about both Los Angeles franchises…
- Hamilton's agents approached the Dodgers and the team did background work on the outfielder, but the Dodgers never seriously considered signing him, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. The Dodgers simply didn't have room in the outfield with Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford all locked up to major long-term contracts.
- Don Mattingly and Mike Scioscia will both be under tremendous pressure to manage their respective teams to postseason success in 2013, writes Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Scioscia is under contract through 2018 but the Angels haven't made the postseason in three years and the skipper seemed to be on the hot seat last year during the team's slow start. As for Mattingly, he is entering the final year of his three-year contract. Hernandez also addresses a number of other questions about both teams as part of his Q&A piece, including if the Angels signed Hamilton as a response to the Dodgers' high-profile moves.
- The Angels are interested in Jonathon Niese and share an interest in R.A. Dickey with the Rangers, reports Matthew Cerrone of Metsblog.com. Cerrone believes the Blue Jays also have their eye on both Mets pitchers, with Niese as their first choice.
- There are still some outstanding questions about the Dodgers' financial situation and the status of their rumored multi-billion dollar TV deal with FOX, writes ESPN's Darren Rovell.
- Earlier today we explored the reaction to the Hamilton signing and its impact around the league.
The Mets are shopping R.A. Dickey, the Nats agreed to sign Dan Haren, the Phillies are in on Michael Bourn, the Marlins are telling teams they won't trade Ricky Nolasco, and the Braves are exploring their left field options. Here are even more NL East notes:
- The Nationals are at two years for Adam LaRoche, and a third-year vesting option figures to be enough to get a deal done, says Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo talked to LaRoche's agent last night. Rizzo is optimistic, but the team is staying at two years and not including an option.
- In speaking to reporters today, Nats manager Davey Johnson conveyed his desire to have LaRoche back in the middle of Washington's lineup: "Adam LaRoche is going to come back. If I have to go to Kansas and take all his cattle to Florida, I will" (Twitter link via Dan Kolko of MASNSports.com).
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson spoke to Scott Hairston's agent today, and believes the Mets may leave Nashville with an outfielder. Whether that player is Hairston or someone else, Alderson will be "careful" about giving out a multiyear deal (Twitter links via ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin).
- There has been virtually no trade discussion about Jon Niese in Nashville, with the Dickey talks at the forefront for the Mets, says Alderson (Twitter link via Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger).
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.