TODAY: Niese is just “one of many” arms that Los Angeles has some interest in, Rosenthal writes on Twitter, and there are “no active discussions” ongoing between the Dodgers and Mets.
YESTERDAY: The Dodgers are interested in Mets starter Jon Niese, sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Just yesterday, Rosenthal reported that the Cubs have also considered dealing for the left-hander.
Niese isn’t quite a world-beater, but he does hold some value as a back of the rotation option. So far this year, he has a 4.12 ERA and 6.3 K/9 against 2.9 BB/9 in 14 starts. Those numbers are a beat behind his career numbers (3.89 ERA with 7.1 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9), but his xFIP of 3.85 this season indicates that he has encountered a bit of bad luck in 2015.
Performance aside, Niese’s contract could have a negative impact on his trade value. The 28-year-old is scheduled to make $9MM in 2016 plus a $500K buyout or $10MM option in 2017. As for this year, he’ll earn the prorated portion of $7MM, which is not wholly unreasonable.
After the draft concluded, it was reported that the Mets would turn their attention to dealing a starting pitcher. With lefty Steven Matz now in the fold, the Mets’ starting pitching situation has gotten even more crowded, and moving Niese could help alleviate that logjam while improving the team’s struggling offense.
Last week, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told reporters that despite their recent offensive woes, he sees the acquisition of bats as a “lower priority” to adding arms to the rotation.