Mets had minimal trade talks about Jon Niese this week

Again, Sandy Alderson told reporters today that he had just minimal trade talks this week about Jon Niese.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I’m sure this is true, though it’s gotten to a point where I can’t put a lot of stock in to how these guys talk in public. I mean, it only takes one team to make a good offer for Niese, so I don’t know that it matters that talks were ‘minimal.’ That said, I do believe Niese’s name came up less this week than R.A. Dickey, mostly because – as I mentioned in a previous post – I think the goal here was to gauge Dickey’s value not Niese’s. I think the Mets knew what could be had for Niese going in to these meetings, and now it’s a matter of weighing all three situations (extend Dickey and trade Niese for a bat, keep Niese and trade Dickey for a bat, or keep both pitchers and troll the free agent market) and then make a decision during the next week and a half.


Dec. 5, 12:30 am:The Mets have also discussed Jon Niese enough to lead one source to conclude that early interest was not overwhelming,” Andy Martino reports for the Daily News.

Jon Niese Jersey Circle

According to Martino, the Mets are not inclined to trade Niese right now, “despite a widespread view among rival executives that the lefty would yield a far better return than Dickey.”


Dec. 4, 4:24 pm: “We’ve really had virtually no discussions with anyone about Jonathan,” Sandy Alderson told reporters today in Nashville. “So we’d be starting from scratching on that.”

Yesterday, Alderson said the Mets had talked to teams about Niese, but he was talked about less than R.A. Dickey.

Mets could get more for Niese than Dickey

Jon Niese Jersey Circle“The Mets have also discussed Jon Niese enough to lead one source to conclude that early interest was not overwhelming,” Andy Martino reports for the Daily News.

According to Martino, the Mets are not inclined to trade Niese right now, “despite a widespread view among rival executives that the lefty would yield a far better return than Dickey.”


Dec. 4, 4:24 pm: “We’ve really had virtually no discussions with anyone about Jonathan,” Sandy Alderson told reporters today in Nashville. “So we’d be starting from scratching on that.”

Yesterday, Alderson said the Mets had talked to teams about Niese, but he was talked about less than R.A. Dickey.

Royals not will not trade Wil Myers for Dickey

Talks between the Mets and Royals are ‘dead,’ if the Mets want Wil Myers for R.A. Dickey, Bob Dutton reports for the Kansas City Star.

This morning, Royals manager Ned Yost told MLB Network Radio that the Royals would be willing to deal Myers if it brought them a starting pitcher who can “put them over the top.”

Earlier today, ESPN’s Adam Rubin said the Mets have been pursuing Myers, according to multiple sources.

In a recent report, Dutton said the Royals have discussed trading Myers to the Red Sox for Jon Lester or to the Rays for James Shields.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I realize Sandy Alderson said today that he’s had virtually no discussions with teams about Jon Niese. However, yesterday, he said the Mets had talked to teams about Niese, only in less conversations than he’s had about Dickey.

The way I understand, the Royals will consider trading Myers to the Mets in a deal for Niese, but there is significant competition, specifically from Tampa. The Royals want a front-line starting pitcher, because they believe they can make a run this season. They’re ready and willing to pull the trigger on a deal with Myers, but (like Dutton said) talks stop if they’re about a 38-year-old knuckleballer.


To read Michael Baron's thoughts on Myers, click here.

Myers, 22, hit .314 with a .600 SLG, 37 HR, 109 RBI and 140 strikeouts in Double-A and Triple-A in 2012.

He has yet play in the Major Leagues, but is widely considered to be among the best hitting prospects in baseball.

Michael Baron, Contributor

1:01 pm: I still think it’s unlikely the Mets can pry Myers away for just Dickey, and I don’t think it can get done straight up for Jon Niese either. I’d do that deal in a heartbeat, frankly. Myers would be the “difference maker” Sandy Alderson said he’s seeking for his starting pitching.

Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks Myers (who is big league ready) as the third best prospect in the game, and it’s awfully risky to trade that kind of talent for an aging pitcher like Dickey – even though he won the Cy Young Award in 2012 – regardless Kansas City’s need for a front-line starting pitcher. It’s less risky for Niese, of course, especially since the Royals talking Myers for Lester and Shields.

I wonder if Sandy will wait and see what happens with Zack Greinke, who many believe will sign very soon. He can conceivably create a market among those who fail to sign Greinke and see if a bidding war ensues for either Dickey or Niese.

Mets have talked Niese, but with less teams

Jon Niese Jersey CircleThe Mets have talked to teams about Jon Niese, GM Sandy Alderson told reporters today in Nashville.

However, he added, he has discussed Niese with fewer teams than have asked about R.A. Dickey.

In either case, he explained, he is not shopping his two pitchers.

“The teams that are interested will approach us,” he said. “We’re not out promoting interest or buying billboards at this stage.”

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Ugh, I get so uneasy any time I see or hear Niese’s name in connection with a trade rumor. I get it. I totally understand that in order to get something of value, the Mets will have to part with something of value. But, I also have a very difficult time with the idea of trading away a young left-handed, successful pitcher like Niese.

I’d want Royals prospect Wil Myers for Niese, or that level prospect. If not, I’d rather keep him. I’d sooner trade Dickey for prospects than trade Niese for anything short of sure thing..

Mets can sign Dickey, but will first consider trading him or Niese

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I keep hearing from people in baseball who say the Mets can lock up R.A. Dickey for the next three years at around $25 million.  However, they haven’t pulled the trigger, so I assume this means they’re still listening to offers for trades from other teams.

However, the offers have been underwhelming, according to reports, so I bet they’re leaning toward keeping him. And, I hear the two sides are considering a meeting in Nashville next week, with all key parties present, at which point this could hopefully reach a conclusion, assuming any last minute efforts to trade him fall short.

Jon Niese road polaroidThis is why I still believe Jon Niese is significantly more likely to get traded next week than anyone else on the roster, which is something I’ve been saying for nearly a year. I think they’ll do it if he can deliver a legit, major-league bat, like a Justin Upton or a Wil Myers. However, the Mets won’t move Niese if the offers continue to be weak.

Teams with interest in Niese are also talking with free-agent Zack Greinke and communicating with the Red Sox about Jon Lester and the Rays about James Shields, and probably other young pitchers.  It’s an educated guess, but I assume the Royals, D-Backs, Blue Jays and Angels all have interest in Niese, considering reports linking them to similar targets.

Basically, I’ve been told Sandy Alderson is essentially playing this like Billy Beane handled Gio Gonzalez last winter, and he’ll only pull the trigger if the market comes to him.  He isn’t going to chase it and make a deal just to make a deal… but, moving Niese is clearly an option and something being considered, as it should be. His big problem seems to be the Rays, who are also desperately looking to acquire a similar young bat, but they have more arms to trade.

So, if it’s a buyer’s market, which it sounds like it is, I hope the Mets keep Niese and keep Dickey. I’d love to have Upton, and especially Myers. The Mets need a legit bat. But, if that can’t happen, I’d rather they spend new money on low-cost, random bats and see what sticks than move a valuable arm (like Dickey or Niese) to get young hitters who may not help for another two or three years. I’m all for planning for the future, but the Mets also need to be better now… not just tomorrow.

Update on Jon Niese…

Mets would not trade Jon Niese for Alex Gordon

In a report for the Daily News, John Harper says while “one Mets person” believes Jon Niese would be enough to acquire Royals OF Alex Gordon, he wouldn’t make such a trade.

“I’d rather keep the young arms and buy the bats (when the Mets have money to spend next winter),” Harper’s source explained.

In 161 games for Kansas City in 2012, Gordon hit .294 with a league-high 51 doubles, a .368 OBP, 14 home runs and 72 RBI although he struck out 140 times in 721 plate appearances.

Gordon is in the second year of a four-year, $37.5 million contract he signed before 2012 season. He earned $6 million in 2012, will earn $9 million in 2013, $10 million in 2014, and $12.5 million in 2015. He holds a $12.5 million player option for the 2016 season.

Michael Baron, Contributor

That’s fairly significant. To me, the only players worth dealing someone like Niese for are players like Gordon or Justin Upton, and it doesn’t sound like Harper’s source wants to deal Niese for someone like Upton either. I also wonder if the Mets’ thinking is changing in general, now that R.A. Dickey has won the Cy Young and the fans have responded in the manner they have. Sandy Alderson did acknowledge last week they might have to deal pitching in order to get better, but that was before Wednesday night. Could they simply hold onto their pitching (and go into the season with an impressive rotation which is getting better)? If they aren’t willing to include Niese in a deal for Gordon, and they can’t command a strong package in exchange for Dickey – as Buster Olney of ESPN suggested in his column this morning – it wouldn’t be a good idea to move either player for lesser packages.