Jon Niese will be Sandy Alderson’s best trade chip this off season, according to multiple scouts and rival executives (Carig, Sept. 30).
Niese made 30 starts for the Mets in 2014, during which he was 9-11 with a 3.40 ERA, a 3.67 FIP, 138 strike outs and 45 walks in 187 2/3 innings.
In terms of FanGraphs’s WAR, it was the third-best season of his career, roughly on par with his level of production in 2013.
Niese is under contract and will make $7 million in 2015 and $9 million in 2016. He can earn $10 million in 2017 and $10.5 million in 2018, or have his deal bought out for $500,000, which will make him a free agent.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer for MetsBlog: The Blue Jays, Angels, Red Sox and Mariners, among other teams, have all had interest in Niese at varying points during the last few years. However, the Mets never pulled the trigger.
I agree with Carig’s sources, though, this winter could be different. It will be easy to use him in a deal because he’s a good value, consistent stats, mostly healthy and a fixed contract. Also, he’s left-handed. He, Daniel Murphy and Kevin Plawecki could probably net a good return in a trade, which would allow Sandy Alderson to keep his top pitching prospects, plus it frees up roughly $15 million in money to use on additional acquisitions. I’m not interested in running any of them out of town. I’d prefer to keep them all. However, the Mets need to be listening to any offer that gets them better hitters and creates a more well-rounded roster.
Maggie Wiggin, MetsBlog Contributor: Zack Wheeler is considered one of the team’s young core pitchers and Niese is a lefty with a very team-friendly contract. I expect both to be back with the Mets next year. However, they both induce a lot of ground balls and are most vulnerable to poor infield defense. Niese and Wheeler are at their best when weak contact on the ground leads to quick outs and double plays. Poor infield range, particularly up the middle, will limit their ability to take advantage of these strengths >> Read more from Sept. 23.
The Mets will have the 15th overall pick in next June’s MLB Amateur Draft, based on their 79-83 record in 2014.
The order is determined in reverse order of regular season record, with ties being broken by record from the previous season (MLBTR, Sept. 30).
The Mets did not finish among the 10 worst records in baseball, meaning they will lose their top remaining draft pick in exchange for every free agent signed who is made a qualifying offer.
Jon Niese is doing fine and will not be examined for an irregular heartbeat that occurred during his final start of the year (Rubin, Sept. 30).
It had been reported that he would see a doctor this weekend (Rubin, Sept. 29).
Niese experienced a similar issue the summer of 2012 and later told reporters he would undergo an ablation heart procedure that offseason.
However, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic told Niese the procedure was not necessary.
The Mets have discussed moving Daniel Murphy to left field in 2015 (New York Post, Sept. 28).
However, as of this past Sunday, he had not yet been asked about a possible position switch.
“It doesn’t mean it’s not coming,” Murphy said (Vorkonuv, Sept. 29). “You play baseball, you do what you’re told. That’s the easy part.”
Murphy previously played left field in 2008 and 2009. He moved to third base this year when David Wright’s season ended early. Murphy has also appeared at first base over the last few seasons, though played just one inning there in 2014.
The All-Star second baseman hit .289 with a .332 OBP in 2014, with 37 doubles, nine home runs and 57 RBI.
Sept. 12: I talked with many talent evaluators with other teams this past month, four of them essentially said Murphy will be viewed this winter as a ‘super utility-guy,’ as Joel Sherman recently referred to him in the New York Post; one person said he could see a contending team making a push for him, but that he’d probably be a second option; while the other two simply referred to him as ‘a throw-in,’ in regards to his value in a trade. >> Read more
Bobby Abreu is considered a candidate to replace hitting coach Lamar Johnson, as is Edgardo Alfonzo, who is very interested in the job (Puma, Sept. 29).
The Mets payroll may end up around around $100 million next year (Rubin, Sept. 29).
The Mets are likely to move in part of the outfield wall at Citi Field next season, Sandy Alderson told reporters Sunday (MetsBlog, Sept. 29).
Jon Niese is due to be examined on Monday after a recurrence of a rapid heartbeat this weekend (Rubin, Sept. 29).
The Mets offense needs to be better in 2015, “but we don’t have to get a lot better,” Alderson said Sunday (MetsBlog, Sept. 29).
Matthew Cerrone’s favorite moment from Sunday’s last game of the season was seeing Matt Harvey leave Citi Field (MetsBlog, Sept. 29).