So far things are going well for the Mets in the 2012 season. Johan Santana looked great in his first outing, the bullpen hasn’t allowed a run yet, David Wright looks like his old self, and they are actually hitting balls out of the ballpark. On top of their undefeated record (yeah I said it) they made a smart move signing Jonathon Niese to a contract extension. With everything going right I say we just pack it up now and call it a successful season.
But first, let’s take a look at Niese’s shiny new contract. It’s a five year contract which means he is signed through the 2016 season. There are also club options for 2017 and 2018. The deal is worth $24.7695M in salary for the first five years. He also received $0.25M in a signing bonus and his buyout in 2017 is for $0.5M. That brings the guaranteed money for his contract to $25.5195M.
As far as a year-by-year breakdown this season Niese will be making $0.7695M. In 2013 he’ll make $3M, 2014 he’ll make $5M, 2015 he’ll make $7M, and in 2016 he’ll make $9M. His option for 2017 is $10M and for 2018 is $11M, with a $0.5M buyout for each of the club options. If the Mets do pick up both of his options to total deal will be worth seven years, $46.0195M. Nowhere did it mention any trade clauses, so I’m assuming there are no restrictions if they choose to trade him, but details about this might emerge later.
For me a felt this deal was a breath of fresh air. With all the stupid contracts baseball is handing out to guys like Joey Votto, it’s nice to see the Mets make a deal like this. It is a slightly risky deal, but I feel the pros outweigh the cons and this deal favors the Mets.
Looking at Niese he has the potential to be one of the best left-handers in the game. He also will be a part of a future rotation that could include Zach Wheeler, Matt Harvey, and potentially Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia. It gives the Mets a core group of pitchers that could be with the team for at least the next seven years.
After announcing the signing of Niese, Sandy Alderson said he is looking to build around core players. He said they will have their core young players as their foundation, and fill in small holes with free agents. They don’t want to relaying on free agents for a good team and successful teams don’t rely on free agents to be good.
For the next couple of years the Mets need to build around their farm system and thoroughly assess what they have. When they are ready to make a run at the playoffs they should fill in holes with free agents.
Next the Mets need to focus on locking down Ike Davis. He’s contract might be a little tougher to work out though.