Brad R in PA, reader of MetsBlog:
Since returning from the DL, Jon Niese has pitched brilliantly. He’s been probably the most consistent as he’s ever been throughout his career. He is seemingly pitching to his ability. Maybe he is feeding off the other pitchers around him, I don’t know. I do think, now that Matt Harvey is on the disabled list and could potentially miss the entire season next year, that any possible trade of Niese or Dillon Gee would certainly leave a major void in the rotation. Do we need trade one to get a bat? Probably. But I do LOVE the idea of having a starting rotation consisting of Harvey, Wheeler, Niese, Syndergaard, and Gee. I don’t know many teams that could stack up against that rotation.
Michael Baron, ContributorNo question. Both Gee and Niese have really stepped it up and shown a lot of growth, especially lately, in light of all of the injuries within the rotation. They have both shown they have a lot of future value to this club, which was important for them considering they’ve both struggled with performance and injury over the last year or so.
Unfortunately, the injury to Harvey puts the Mets in a real bind, whether he has surgery or not. If Harvey has surgery, he won’t be back until 2015, period. If he doesn’t have surgery, the injury will still be there, with a chance of it worsening with more use. The Mets would have to be really careful with how they use Harvey, knowing the damage could get worse at any time and could result in Tommy John Surgery anyway.
In either case, the Mets now need some kind of stopgap or fallback option in their rotation, while they wait for Noah Syndergaard and/or Rafael Montero in the early part of next season. As a result, I agree it would be difficult for the Mets to trade either Dillon Gee or Jon Niese to acquire the bats they seek this winter. The problem is, they are the big-league arms they have to barter with, and the Mets must get better everyday players regardless of Harvey. Free agent markets are becoming a less desirable place to fill voids — the options there could be very limited even if they’d prefer to buy the bats. Needless to say, I don’t envy the task Sandy Alderson and his group have in front of them this winter.
If anything, this injury demonstrates the fragility of banking solely on starting pitching, and that no team can ever have enough of it. In the end, the Mets might be forced to play it safe and hold onto both Gee and Niese, at least through next season…