With starting pitching at a premium, the Mets were reportedly listening to offers for left-hander Jonathon Niese last week at the winter meetings. GM Sandy Alderson told ESPN New York's Adam Rubin that there have been no "significant" trade talks involving Niese though, and he still envisions him as part of the club's future (Twitter link).
Niese, 25, told Andy Martino of The New York Daily News that the front office reached out to him last week after the trade rumors became public to assure him they still want him on their club (Twitter link). Three or four teams still have interest in trading for him according to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman (on Twitter), and the Mets seek a young catcher and young pitchers in return. That price is too high for some clubs, says Martino (on Twitter). The Rockies and Yankees were said to have some interest in Niese last week.
Although his 4.40 ERA in 2011 is nothing special, Niese did post impressive peripheral stats in his 157 1/3 innings: 7.89 K/9, 2.52 BB/9, and 51.5% grounders. He's had trouble staying healthy in recent years thanks to hamstring and oblique problems, which is why he's never thrown more than 180 innings in a season, majors or minors. Niese is under team control for another four years, the final three as an arbitration-eligible player.