New York Mets Gauging the Trade Market for Jon Niese

Last night the New York Mets essentially assembled the entire back end of their bullpen.  Today, they have been discussing trades for left-hander Jon Niese.  There was some suggestion that Ike Davis was being discussed as well, but as Joel Sherman notes in the link, Jon Niese is the main topic.  I didn’t understand why the New York Mets would think about moving Ike Davis anyway.  As far as Jon Niese though, I kind of wonder why they would look to move him as well.  I mean, I understand their mindset.  They want to provide a cheaper alternative to Gio Gonzalez and think they could catch teams with a red “30% off” sticker.  I guess I just found it a little surprising that the New York Mets would be willing to move him considering he looks like a solid middle-of-the-rotation producer (3.77 FIP in 370.2 IP).  Not to mention Jon Niese is only 25 and controlled through 2015.

In order to pry Niese away from the Mets, an acquiring team would need to include a “place holder” in addition to the main prospect.  Sherman suggests that the Colorado Rockies’ Jason Hammel fits the mold of a place holder.  He doesn’t mention an example of a prospect, but  I’m still a big Tyler Matzek fan.  I’m not sure how the Rockies view him in light of his struggles, but I would guess that Niese doesn’t bring Matzek back in a trade.

A Niese trade would suggest to me that the New York Mets are on the brink of a rebuilding effort even greater than what I anticipated at the beginning of the offseason.  Letting Jose Reyes walk and trading David Wright (ironically, Wright is the one guy the Mets are not discussing) is one thing, but trading young, cost controlled left-handed pitchers? One thing to keep in mind as the Mets trade rumors continue to swirl is that none of these players are Sandy Alderson’s guys.  It doesn’t mean that he’s going to just trade them all away, but he doesn’t have any attachment to guys like Niese or even Ike Davis.  This is clearly a development that is going to require more virtual ink over the next several days and weeks.

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