Jerry Crasnick of ESPN says the Mets are not interested in trading Jon Niese to the Rockies for OF Seth Smith.
In addition, a source tells Crasnick the Mets would have to be “knocked out” to move Niese at all.
Original Post, Dec. 16 at 9:30 pm:
“Mets lefty Jonathon Niese is believed to be available in a package built around OF Seth Smith,” writes Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports.
In 147 games for the Rockies in 2011, Smith, 29, hit .284 with a .347 on-base percentage, 15 home runs and 59 RBI in 476 at-bats. He hit .285 with nine home runs and 38 RBI at Coors Field, and .282 with six home runs and 21 RBI on the road. He is eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter, and Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors believes Smith could earn around $2.6 million through the process.
Earlier this week on MetsBlog, Matthew Cerrone said the Mets have had substantive talks about Niese with the Jays, who have also been mentioned repeatedly in rumors involving Gonzalez. “The people I’ve talked with say the Mets like Jays C Travis d’Arnaud, as do many other teams,” Cerrone wrote. “So, perhaps the Mets and A’s are considering something creative involving their two, young left-handed starting pitchers?”
However, at the Mets holiday party on Tuesday, Sandy Alderson said Niese is in his plans for next year. Alderson acknowledged that he will listen to offers for any player, but, “at this point that’s all it is, is talk,” while adding, “I wouldn’t say that it’s even been significant conversations.”
I would view Smith as insurance over Duda, but if Duda continues to grow, Smith could be hard pressed to get consistent playing time with the Mets and could end up being an expensive part-time player. Should the Mets acquire him, I wonder if Smith could be used as a trade chip to bring a player in to fill a more pressing need (such as a starting pitcher).