Why Jonathon Niese should be traded

There are two reasons why the Mets are not winning; their bullpen is in shamble and there is not enough power in the lineup. Since bullpen production can change dramatically year from year, Sandy Alderson should be worrying about supplying this line up with another right handed power bat to hit fifth and provide protection for Ike Davis. That bat is not going to come by means of free agency, so Alderson will have to pull off a trade. Guess who his best trade chip is? Maybe it is that young left handed starting pitcher with a controllable contract and success at the major league level.

Jonathon Niese was the Mets starting rotation’s unsung hero this year. With a record of 13-9 and an ERA of 3.40, Niese was the stabilizing arm in the middle of the rotation all year long. Niese’s salary of 3 million dollars next year will go down as one of the true bargains in all of baseball. Only 25 years old, there is no reason to believe Niese will regress, but instead he will improve as he enters his prime. That is why the Mets should trade him.

The Mets farm system is not getting as much respect as it should be getting. From Matt Harvey showing glimpses of what Mets fans can expect for the next decade, to Zack Wheeler waiting in the wings and being hailed as a top ten prospect in baseball, to younger prospects like Michael Fulmer and Rafael Montero dominating their levels this year, the Mets are in great shape when it comes to starting pitching depth. As players age and their contracts expire, the Mets will have no problem replacing their starting pitchers over next few years.

With a surplus of quality starting pitching prospects, the Mets can start dealing from that strength to plug the holes on this team. R.A. ‘Cy Young’ Dickey’s emergence allows the Mets to have this flexibility. As of now the Mets have Dickey, Dillon Gee, Harvey, Niese, Mike Pelfrey, Santana, and possibly Wheeler in the mix for the starting rotation in 2013. If the Mets were to trade Niese, they could run out a rotation of Dickey, Gee, Harvey, Santana, and Wheeler (this is assuming he could beat Pelfrey out for the spot which would allow the Mets to try Pelfrey out as a closer). That is a rotation the Mets could win with even though the loss of Niese’s consistency in the middle of the order would be felt as Harvey and Wheeler go through their growing pains as younger players.

So who could Niese haul back? This writer is not here to start rumors, but there has been a lot of chatter about a possible Niese for Justin Upton swap. Sandy might have to part with an extra arm or two (arms like Luis Mateo and Domingo Tapia), but it would be a trade he would have to pull the trigger on. His 17 HR production from this year and 2010 does not scream power hitter, but his 26 HRs from 2009 and his 31 HRs from 2011 certainly does (in 2011, at the age of 23, Upton finished 4th in NL MVP voting).

Upton has been in the league so long people forget that he is only 25 years old yet he has 6 years of MLB experience. He has not even entered his prime yet and is young and controllable until 2015. Also, he is a childhood friend of Wright and could convince Wright that the Mets are heading in the right direction as an organization. With a middle of the order of Wright-Davis-Upton, the Mets line up could be dangerous for years.

Niese for Upton. Makes a whole lot of sense doesn’t it?

60 comments for “Why Jonathon Niese should be traded

  1. October 14, 2012 at 10:30 am

    You just gave us all the reasons why we should keep Jonathan Niese! He’s already proven and is established at the major league level.Your starting rotation is set for next year You already have your number 3 starter in place? Unless you can get Felix Hernandez back in a trade.The Mets have 3 solid starters with R.A,Johan and Jonathan. With Gee and Harvey filling in at 4 and 5. As for Pelfrey it’s time to cut the umbilical cord and move on.I don’t see the Mets looking to sign Pelfrey via arbitration. What if Pelfrey is looking for 4-5 million dollars? At this moment is he better than Jonathan at 3 million? We can better utilize the money on the outfield.

    • Stephen Basile
      October 15, 2012 at 1:24 am

      Reality is the Mets won’t be able to contend next year again and Sandy will not be investing much money in free agency again this year as he waits for Johan’s and Bay’s contracts to expire. Yes Niese is a good player, but you must give up something good to get something good back. With the surplus of arms on their way to the majors and no impact bat in sight, this may be the best time to sell high on Niese and buy somewhat low on a bat like Upton.

      • October 15, 2012 at 2:00 am

        If Upton was more consistent I would agree. But at 3 million for the coming year and only 5 million for the 2014 Jonathan is a bargain. So if Jonathan can win 13 games with no offense he has already learned how to pitch and give his team a chance to win. Removing him from the starting rotation and putting one of the kids instead just doesn’t make sense.Upton is far to inconsistent and that’s playing in Phoenix where the Diamondbacks are second fiddle to Arizona State(no pressure) Yes,your selling Jonathan high but Justin’s market value should be down. Didn’t Arizona try to move him at the trade deadline? Last,Justin is making 10 million next year with an additional 30 million more for 2014-15.

        • Stephen Basile
          October 15, 2012 at 2:09 am

          That’s not that expensive these days.

          Either way like I said below, I just threw Upton’s name in there because it has actually been mentioned in the news. I didn’t want to start making up fake deals like I was playing MLB the Show haha…point of the article really was Niese could definitely get us a right handed power bat and if he can land the Mets a bat like Upton or someone even better the organization shouldn’t think twice about it.

      • October 15, 2012 at 2:22 am

        Stephen I have a question. We all talk about the Mets being able to contend in 2014. What about the rest of the division? Philadelphia will be way under the luxury tax and I would expect them to be aggressive in the free agent market. The Nationals have the pitching and a core of young hitters. The Braves are always tough on the Mets. How are the Mets going to get into the playoffs with the financial handicap we are under?

        • Stephen Basile
          October 15, 2012 at 2:30 am

          As Boston just proved free agency doesn’t buy championships. The Braves and Nationals will be the real competition for the Mets in two years. They’re not going anywhere. The way the Mets contend with them is by drafting, developing, and trading for young and controllable players. That’s why I find it so important for team to get a young bat under their control NOW to take the pressure off any other young bats (like Flores and Nimmo) who come up through the system.

          Say Flores and Nimmo pan out for this team and the Mets trade for a young right handed bat like Upton or whomever. A line up that consists of Wright, Davis, Upton/whomever, Flores, Nimmo could compete with any other line up out there. Add in a starting rotation that could consist of Dickey, Harvey, Wheeler, Gee, Montero, etc and the Mets could contend with any team in those two facets of the game. Would all depend on finding consistent arms for the bullpen and the Mets would be a serious playoff contending team in two years.

  2. Charles
    October 14, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Of there going to trade a starter, it’s got to be Dickey; the soon to be Cy Young award winner who contract is an even better bargain. Dickey hasn’t shown any signs of regression, he’s actually gotten better. The mets only have one starting lefty in the stable and the two closest who show any promise are Darren Gorski and Steven Matz. However, Gorski is still a question mark, while Matz often injured and way too far off for contribution. They must keep Niese. Hes young and getting better. Perhaps on the cusp of his own Cy Young chase. This team needs offense. But starting lefties like Niese don’t come around very often.

    • Stephen Basile
      October 15, 2012 at 1:26 am

      If the price was extremely right, I woudn’t mind parting with R.A., but I’m talking two bats here (outfielder and catcher preferably). However, business wise it may be a move the Wilpons won’t allow Alderson to make. Dickey is a fan favorite and the outrage that would follow trading him could chase the Wilpons out of town!

  3. Reese Kaplan
    October 14, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Dickey is essentially a one-year rental. Niese is a long term option though his contract has his salary escalating over the duration of it moving from $3 million in 2013 to $5, $7, $9 and then options for $10 and $11. It’s by no means an onerous contract.

    While some bemoan the fact that if Dickey wins the Cy Young he will become too expensive to keep, but the flip side of it is that he becomes more attractive in trade. While I was never a huge Niese fan from the very beginning, the points about his age, production and left handedness are valid, as is the concern of putting your eggs into the basket of a player approaching 40 who has been good for a few years and spectacular for one.

    How much could the Tigers net if they traded Verlander? How much could the Dodgers get for Kershaw? How much could the Mariners get for Hernandez? How much could the Giants get for Cain? Dickey won’t approach that kind of haul, but it’s nice to realize that they actually do have a chip that has terrific value in trade. Even teams not traditionally thought to be interested due to financial limitations like Oakland, Houston or KC might get into the fray for a $5 million Cy Young award winning pitcher.

    Now, of course, the Mets have ANOTHER chip to trade — David Wright. His numbers for this year a solid, All-Star caliber (San Francisco ballot box-stuffing notwithstanding), and at $16 million he’s probably a bit overpaid. The problem is he will cost MORE each coming year for similar and eventually declining production. Let someone else pay that freight, give the Mets an immediate $16 million of salary flexibility to address other needs PLUS pick up at least two blue chippers of the Zack Wheeler talent level (though with bats) to help in the OF or C positions. At worst you muddle through a year of Murphy at 3B and Valdespin at 2B until Flores is ready. 2013 is already a lost year.

    The third chip you have is Wheeler himself. If you deal Dickey you must keep Wheeler, but if you retain Dickey then you have to consider what another team would offer in terms of offensive can’t miss type of prospect for Wheeler. Gio Gonzalez was similarly moved several times before hitting the majors.

    • Stephen Basile
      October 15, 2012 at 1:30 am

      Moving Wheeler would be one of the biggest mistakes this organization could make. Like I said above, I’d move Dickey, but it would have to be Sandy and only Sandy’s price. No compromising on his value. Dickey could bring veteran leadership to a young rotation in two years when the Mets can actually contend. Don’t undersell that value. Niese is a very good ballplayer, but he’s not irreplaceable. If he can fill a much bigger hole on this team like a right handed power bat he should be moved.

  4. October 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    If I could move Dickey for a power hitter I would do it before trading Niese. Upton straight up Niese I would do, nothing more though.

  5. Metsense
    October 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Here is Nieses’ stats and NL rank in 2012 based on starting pitchers who pitched at least 80 innings: 3.40 ERA (18) 1.17 WHIP (20) .663 OPS (12) 3.80 FIP (36). He appears to be a solid #2 pitcher who is cost controlled,which is a very important fact for these cash strapped Mets. The Mets strength is their starting pitching. This pitching along with a better defense and stronger bullpen would reduce the runs allowed. The Mets problem wasn’t just power on offense but a lack of average offensive players at two outfield positions and catcher. 6-9 in the batting order was a black hole. Get some average offensive/defensive outfielders and catcher which will result in the Mets runs allowed to go down reducing the need for a high powered offense and the record should improve. Isn’t this what the Bill James Pythagroem Theory is about? The Mets don’t have the capital to approach the problem in any other way. The Mets should hold onto their strengths and trade their offensive players for others that will supplement their starting pitching. Great pitching and role players can win.

    • Stephen Basile
      October 15, 2012 at 1:34 am

      This line up desperately needs another power bat to protect Davis and take even more pressure off of Wright. Role players won’t be able to do that.

      • Metsense
        October 15, 2012 at 7:58 am

        For 2013 role players will have to do. In 2014 the Mets could go the FA route for their needs and still have Niese. The reality is the Mets are a fourth place, 74 win team that needs to get to .500. Niese will stil be affordable in 2014 and the sure fire young starters (Izzy-Wilson-Pulsipher) haven’t arrived yet. Wasn’t Familia and Mejia supposed to be ready to start in 2013? Wasn’t Wheeler rated higher than Harvey? They are not ready yet. It is too soon to be trading a valuable piece when the Mets are way more than one piece away.

        • Stephen Basile
          October 16, 2012 at 12:25 pm

          This article is about preparing the Mets to make a run in two years not one year. Next year is a bust as well. Even in two years they might make it to only .500. That’s why a young hitter like a Justin Upton would be a good pick up now. He’d be entering his prime just as the Mets became contenders again.

  6. joe gomes
    October 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Lets see, according to you, the Mets should trade a young up and coming lefty under control for the next 5 years for 25M + 2 option years? And that he should be traded as part of a Upton trade. For the life of me, I can’t see what the big deal is with Upton. Yes, he has great upside but he can also continue to underperform.

    If the Mets trade any player whether is Dickey, Niese or Wright, it has to be for multiple players not just a one for one trade.

    Having said that, you trade Dickey before you trade Niese because Dickey is older and not under control. Mets should take advantage of his 20 wins and Cy Young candidacy and get as much as they can for him.

    Lets not forget that Santana is still with this team and he will again lead the rotation next year giving Niese another year to learn and get better alongside Santana. Harvey will also benefit from that.

    Niese along with Dickey are the only sure thing pitchers the Mets have. It is better to keep both but if one has to go, it should be Dickey.

    • Stephen Basile
      October 15, 2012 at 1:39 am

      Santana is only around for one more year and who knows if he can even bounce back and perform. Dickey should be signed 3-4 years and help lead this team’s rotation in two years when they can actually contend. Upton is only 25 years old…the guy hasn’t entered his prime years yet and has already jacked 31 HRs (finished fourth in MVP voting as well) and 26 HRs in his career. I don’t see how that can even remotely be considered under performing.

      Niese is the best trade bait this team has because he’s a controllable lefty pitcher with success in the majors. Like said above if you want to get something good you need to give up something good. How many teams will really want to gamble on Dickey over Niese? I don’t see many considering the age difference.

  7. Name
    October 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    First, a note. Pelfrey is arbitration eligible next season and there’s absolutely no way they would offer him arbitration. And unless he is willing to take a cheap minor league deal(which he’s not because his agent is the delusional Scott Boras), he’s not coming back.

    Secondly, while the Mets may have good organizational SP depth, I am one of the few who believe they do not have enough Major League SP depth. In a healthy world, we have Santana,Dickey,Gee,Niese, and Harvey. All could be above average to average at worst. However, if one goes down, who do we have? Hefner, McHugh,Schwinden? These guys may be fine for a short period of time, but you don’t want them to make 10+ starts. If you deal Niese, and one of the other 4 go down, you have to use 2 of those SP. Two! If that happens, our SP will be a huge liability.
    They could eventually trade Niese, but this year is not the year to do it. They have to wait until Wheeler is ready and one of our other SP prospects is close.

    And finally the Niese for Upton. I would never ever ever ever take that deal. Let alone give up 2 more prospects for Upton? Upton is Not enough for Niese. Niese is cost controlled for 5 years, plus 2 option years. None of those years will cost the Mets more than 11 million dollars! That contract is so team friendly that it would be stupid for the Mets to trade him without getting a massive haul in terms of prospects, or at least 2-3 good major league pieces. Upton has so far been inconsistant player during his MLB career. He has had 2 really good season with 3 average seasons. This player is not a superstar, yet some of us are treating him like he is one. Plus, he only under contract for 3 more years, at 10,15,15 million respectively, not exactly cheap.

    • Stephen Basile
      October 15, 2012 at 1:44 am

      The Mets aren’t going to be able to contend next year. Alderson even told that to Wright and Dickey. The SP organizational depth for next year should not factor in the decision to trade Niese.

      Upton is only 25 years old, so his ‘inconsistent’ play should be overlooked just a bit. He’ll be entering his prime soon and his projected play should factor into the decision. Either way, Upton was just a name I mentioned because it has actually made news outlets. I did not want to write an article, create speculation on names and play arm chair GM. This team needs a right handed power bat whether it’s Upton or not.

      The point of the article was that if an impact bat is available and the price starts with Niese, the team should pull the trigger on the deal.

      • Name
        October 15, 2012 at 11:32 am

        In my opinion, Niese is probably one of the top 10 most valuable pieces in MLB. In my mind, he has more trade value than high regarded studs such as King Felix, Matt Cain. While Niese is not as good as those players, Niese’s contract blows them away. That’s how team friendly Niese’s contract is.

        I agree that a player that Upton could help us. What i disagree is what it will take to get him. Your idea is to give Niese + some prorpsects. I would not even give Niese straight up. Instead, i would ask for Upton + some prospects for Niese. Upton’s contract is not outrageous, but compared to Niese, it is a lot.
        If i had to put a price tag on Niese and Upton, i would price Niese at $10 and Upton at $5. Not even close in my opinion. Upton’s value mostly comes from his overhype by the media.

        • Stephen Basile
          October 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm

          I personally don’t think a player who almost won the MVP award when he was 23 years old can be ‘overhyped’. He may have his down years, but how many hitters in this league don’t have down years? If they want to send us Upton for Niese while exchanging B prospects I don’t think anyone is overpaying on either side.

  8. Barry
    October 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    A solid starting pitcher is extremely hard to come by. A very-good lefty is even more valuable. Much easier to find a position player. Throw in the very-reasonable financials on Niese, and keeping him is a no-brainer.

    • Stephen Basile
      October 15, 2012 at 1:52 am

      I get that a lot of you value Niese so much because he’s a good lefty pitcher and that every rotation needs at least one lefty in the rotation, but tell that to the Detriot Tigers. Two games away from the World Series and not one lefty in the rotation, but they have a pretty potent middle of the order. The Mets pitching will be able to survive without Niese in two years, but they won’t go anywhere without two or three more impact bats in their line up. If they have a chance to acquire a young and controllable one this year, I don’t see how they can’t pull the trigger.

      • Name
        October 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm

        We’re not valuing Niese because he a lefty. We’re valuing him much because he’s a good pitcher with a cheap and team-friendly contract.

        I think most of us we can agree, if we were to trade Niese, we could do much better than Justin Upton.

        • Stephen Basile
          October 16, 2012 at 12:35 pm

          Maybe they could ‘do much better’ as you say. Point me in the direction of another young right handed power bat in the league they could dangle Niese for. Upton is being very underrated by a few of you on this site. The guy isn’t even 26 years old and already has 6 years of MLB experience. He’s a silver slugger award winner and he can consistently be a 20-20 guy for years with the possibility of hitting more than 20 HRs any given year. I don’t see how the Mets could do better in the trade market.

          The optimistic Mets fan in me imagines an outfield of Nimmo and Upton and gets very excited.

          • Name
            October 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm

            What i meant by much better was that they should get Upton + some prospects for Niese. I don’t know much about the minors, so i can’t give you any names. Upton for Niese straight up is blatant win for whichever team gets Niese.

            • Stephen Basile
              October 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm

              I respect your opinion, but I don’t agree with it. Niese for Upton is a fair trade for both sides. The Mets have a lot of starting pitchers coming up very soon who will make an impact; Wheeler and Montero especially. The Mets could run with a rotation of Dickey, Harvey, Wheeler, Montero, and Gee in two-three years and have success. Niese could and should be traded to fill a hole on this team whether its an OF or C.

              • Name
                October 16, 2012 at 10:44 pm

                I’ll make one final argument to back me up, and if i can’t convince you, well then, we are all entitled to our own opinions.

                So, in year 1 of a potential trade, would you rather have:
                Upton Or Niese+ 7M, which they could get at the very Minimum of Hairston and Shoppach? It might even be enough to get Melky Cabrera.
                I think clear win is Niese camp.

                In year 2, would you rather have:
                Upton Or Niese + 9.25M.

                In year 3, would you rather have:
                Upton Or Niese + 7.5M.

                So basically for each year, you get to keep Niese, plus you have 7-9 million to spend on someone or someones. 7-9 million will net us an above average OF piece.

                And then you will still retain Niese for 3 more years after that at reasonable prices of 9,10,11M.

                Plus, if the Mets trade Niese next year, who will fill in? As of right now, most likely Jeremy Hefner. My, and others, opinions of Hefner are here: http://mets360.com/?p=13232.

                So, in summary, if the Mets are able to trade for Upton, that means they have the money to pay Upton’s contract. But if they had that money, they could keep Niese and use the difference between Niese’s and Upton’s contract to get an OF piece from FA so OF problem solved(and you get to keep a really good SP).

                Money and contract aside, if you asked me next season whether i want to trade Niese for Upton, it would clearly be Upton because the upgrade in the OF would be worth the drop off in SP. But the fact is that their contracts are different, and that is why Niese is worth more than Upton.

                • Stephen Basile
                  October 16, 2012 at 11:10 pm

                  I see your point and youre right for next year it doesn’t make much sense contract wise, but you also need to take in account that Santana, Bay, and Francisco’s contracts will all be gone after 2013 and at that point the extra 7-9 million dollars will not really matter since Santana and Francisco will most likely be replaced with young and controllable relief pieces. I’ll take Upton over a rental like Hairston, Willingham, or Kubel anyday, Name; for Upton’s potential alone, it is worth it.

                  I stand by Niese for Upton and/or Niese for a young right handed power bat who plays OF or C. We’ll have to agree to disagree. For all we know Alderson is looking to keep Niese and trade Dickey for his right handed power bat!

                • Stephen Basile
                  October 16, 2012 at 11:13 pm

                  Hefner doesn’t have to be the replacement. Wheeler will be given every opportunity to seize a spot in this rotation if there’s an open spot. For all we know he might seize the opportunity if his biggest competition is pitchers like Hefner, Pelfrey, and Young.

                  If Wheeler is not ready, Meija is still floating around and the Mets might choose to use him as a starter if the bullpen gets crowded with arms this spring.

                • Name
                  October 17, 2012 at 12:29 am

                  Well, i tried my best, and i don’t think that showing any more stats will convince you. Payroll flexibility is something that I consider important for a good baseball franchise.
                  If it were up to me, of Dickey,Niese,Wheeler, i would try to trade Wheeler. Let someone else figure out if he’s the real deal while we get an established young hitter in return. After all, his value should be really high after 1.5 years of New York media hype.

                • Metsense
                  October 17, 2012 at 9:49 am

                  Name – your salary analysis supports the arguement.
                  Stephen – no where in the article do you indicate that this is a 2 or 3 year plan. That is why I say it is too early for this trade.
                  I also enjoyed both yours and Name’s responses as it shows different perspectives, argued intelligently and respectfully, which is the main reason I am a devoted reader of the site.

                • Stephen Basile
                  October 17, 2012 at 11:50 am

                  Metsense:

                  In the article I state: “As players age and their contracts expire, the Mets will have no problem replacing their starting pitchers over next few years.”

                  It may not outright say 2-3 years, but that was my intention. It’s my fault for not being as clear as possible. With Wheeler, Montero, Fulmer, Mateo, Robbles, etc. the Mets actually have a lot of starting pitching prospects. In a few years, people will be wondering where all these arms are coming from as they come up to the majors.

                  Niese will be replaceable. It may be too early for the trade, you may be right, but what if next year Niese gets hurt again or has a subpar year? I would trade him now while his value is very high around the league, but I would only move him if the bat was right for the team.

                  Alderson should determine his value of Niese, like he did of Beltran, and not budge on it at all. If the team decides to keep Niese and he has a very nice first half of the season, maybe Alderson can move him then for a hitter if the price is right around the deadline. I’m not saying it is a must make move to trade Niese, but if the price is right — why not? The team can fill a hole and start Wheeler’s development in the majors.

            • Web
              October 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm

              Are we even watching the same sport, Name? Stephen’s article is based around facts and statistics. Trends and numbers. Your posts couldn’t be further from the truth.

              Kudos, Stephen. This article has really brought some things to light for me.

              • Stephen Basile
                October 17, 2012 at 12:39 am

                Name for some reason I can’t respond directly to you, but if you end up seeing this post, trading Wheeler would be the biggest mistake this franchise could ever make. Wheeler is the real deal if he can keep himself healthy. Plus, you talk about payroll flexibility and how it would hurt our payroll to trade such a cheap contract like Niese and then you call for trading Wheeler who isn’t even make a million dollars. Confused on how that would help our payroll flexibility more than trading Niese.

                With over 50 million dollars coming off the books in 2013, the extra 7-9 million dollars a player like Upton would make over Niese would be a feasible cost this franchise could pay. I know for a fact that if that 7-9 million dollars would be spent anyway, like you said, that it would be better spent on a young player instead of a stop gap player. Is Niese and a player like Kubel better than starting Wheeler’s development and having a young bat in the realm of Upton?

                • Name
                  October 17, 2012 at 1:10 am

                  I think the most replies that this comment systems allows is 7, so that’s why you can’t respond to my post directly.
                  Yes, Wheeler is cheap, but Wheeler is unproven in the major leagues. Right now, all he has is “potential”. We’ve seen too many cases of players who had “potential” do squat. Now, that doesn’t mean i’d be willing to trade him for anyone. He would have to be 1. Cheap, 2. Young, 3. Proven, 4. Good. Here’s a name for you. Giancarlo Stanton. If the Marlins were stupid enough to offer him, you wouldn’t trade Wheeler for him?

                • Stephen Basile
                  October 17, 2012 at 1:21 am

                  Name, I would trade Wheeler for Stanton; however, I wouldn’t trade Wheeler for Upton.

                • Stephen Basile
                  October 17, 2012 at 1:26 am

                  To clarify, trading Wheeler for anything less than a possible MVP candidate one day would be a huge mistake. Stanton is only 22 years old and has already had back to back 30 HR seasons. Sky is the limit with a player like that.

                • Name
                  October 17, 2012 at 1:31 am

                  Yep. No one is untouchable. There is always someone or a package of someones for any player.

  9. Chris F
    October 14, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I think Niese’s only compelling reason to not trade is that he is left handed. He had a solid year and could command a decent haul in return, perhaps a couple decent people (C, OF). I think RA will re-sign for much less than Cy money and to keep him on with the win potential as his knuckler continues to evolve seems very reasonable. We wont get likely get anything back (perhaps Im wrong) that will directly lead to 5-10 wins per season above our rotation. He is also a veteran ace, with 3-5 solid years left and a leader to get our young staff seasoned. Trading RA and having Johan leave will make Niese, yes Niese, the veteran/ace of the staff. What happens if Harvey needs a couple more seasons to mature?

    • Stephen Basile
      October 15, 2012 at 1:47 am

      I agree with you, Chris. I wrote this article under the assumption that this scenario would play out after the team signs both Wright and Dickey to extensions. I also believe this team needs some kind of real veteran leadership in this rotation down the road and it should be Dickey.

  10. 7train
    October 15, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Not for Upton.

    Upton’s career numbers away from Arizona .250/.325/.406 and 2012 .252/.326/.344 show no improvement at all and that is why Arizona dangles him every year. If they want out of the salary that’s one thing but if they want something substantial like a young LHP under team control for 5 years that is something entirely different.

    Tovar and Vaughn are too much to give up to get Upton’s career away numbers and while he may improve, he may get worse as well.

    • Stephen Basile
      October 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      7train you bring up a very good point in your first paragraph, but in regards to your 2nd paragraph I’d do that trade 100 out of 100 times. Tovar will most likely never hit enough to become a starter in this league and Vaughn as well. Tovar and Vaughn for Upton is a no brainer.

      However, the splits are my only legitimate gripe with Upton, but in 2009 he hit .296/.341/.521 with 12 HRs away from home so he has shown success away from home. In 2010 also he hit .264/.341/.449 with 9 HRs away from home. I know the numbers don’t light the world on fire, but thats a year he only hit .282/.371/.446 with 8 HRs at home. The numbers that year are compareable enough. His career away average is also brought down a lot by his sophomore year in 2008 when he hit .169/.291/.271 with 3 HRs out of Arizona. So consider those numbers a bit.

      His 2009 and 2010 give me reason for hope that he can replicate his numbers away from Arizona as well as the fact the Mets hitting instructors could possibly help him be more selective which could also help his production even more.

      • 7rain
        October 16, 2012 at 6:11 pm

        Your right Stephen, I was exagerrating a bit and he is young enough to start living up to his deal which he signed in 2010 but it is exactly the type of difference between home and road displayed by Upton in 2008 that I’m referring to. .321/.407/.632 at home Vs. .161/.291/.271 on the road. That is a shocking difference. That year he smoked the ball in Arizona and Colorado and the only other park he homered in was Cinn.

        For his entire career he has either one HR or no HR’s in 20 of the 27 ballparks he’s played in, some he’s only played 3 games but still in others he’s had 6,6, 8, 8, 11, 13, 15, 15, 16, 17, or 17 again and either one or zero HR’s and it’s not like he’s making it up in doubles or even singles either.

        In NL Eastern ball parks he has six HR’s in five full seasons. He’s been above average as a hitter in 7 visiting ballparks and below or well below average in 20 of them.

        Not saying I wouldn’t give up something but I certainly wouldn’t give up a lot. I look at this deal as half salary relief, half even swap.

        • Stephen Basile
          October 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm

          Well 2008 was his first full season in the majors, so I believe we should give him a break on that year. The other stats you presented form a legitimate argument. I respect the fact people don’t believe he can hit much out of Arizona because it is a legitimate possibility; however, I believe he can hit out of Arizona in the coming years. I don’t see his career spiraling downhill if he were to leave Arizona even though it is a possibility. I think Upton can consistently put up .280 20 HRs 20 SBs at the very least, but with a lot of room to blow those numbers out of the water.

          Again this article isn’t calling for Niese to only be traded for Upton. If there is another legit right handed power bat at either OF or C out there being dangled for Niese, Alderson should pull the trigger.

  11. Zach Ripple
    October 17, 2012 at 2:01 am

    My one concern with Niese is that this is the first year he hasn’t crumbled in the second-half. However, he pitched on an extra day of rest down the stretch. However, baseball-reference.com shows Gio Gonzalez as very similar through the age of 25. However, Niese was not abysmal like Gonzalez was in his rookie season. Niese also doesn’t have the control issues Gonzalez has. The big difference that gives Gonzalez an edge? The homerun ball. Niese gave up 22 homeruns last year, 21st most in the NL, while Gonzalez led qualifiers in HR/9 allowed at just .4. However, Niese is young, cheap and controllable, with the ability to improve when he learns to finish batters with his curveball. His W-L record does not reflect how good he was. He had almost identical peripheral stats to Madison Bumgarner, a 16-game winner, aside from strikeouts, and Bumgarner’s home ballpark is the best pitcher’s park in the NL. Niese has a lot of value, so if he is moved, the Mets need to receive a package in return. This garbage about Niese needing to be packaged to get Upton is nonsense. Niese has much more value than Upton currently, and the Mets don’t have someone who can fill Niese’s void past next year.

    • Name
      October 17, 2012 at 11:05 am

      I agree wholeheartedly agree with everything you said. But i’ll play some devil’s advocate just for fun. The critics would say that this is the first time that Niese has “put it together”, while Upton has already has 2 great seasons under his belt.

      #FireTC

    • Stephen Basile
      October 17, 2012 at 11:41 am

      I regret putting the Upton stuff in this article because that’s all everyone is focused on. That’s my fault. The article isn’t titled Why Niese Should be Traded for Upton; that’s not the point of the post. Point of the post is if the Mets are offered a young right handed bat they should move Niese. Whether it’s Upton or a prospect like Travis D’Arnaud, Niese should be moved if a right handed power bat is dangled for him. If you think he should be moved in a package deal that involves a right handed power bat than you essentially agree with what I’m saying. You may not do it for Upton, but everyone is entitled to their opinion and no one’s opinion is ‘garbage’.

      Again, I only put Upton’s name in the article because it’s the only name Niese has been linked too. I’m not in the business of starting fake speculation.

      • Name
        October 17, 2012 at 8:02 pm

        It seems like you’re wanting to trade Niese for 2 reasons.
        1. He has good trade value and would bring back good piece(s). We have already discussed that extensively and not why I posted here again.

        2. We have a lot of young arms coming up and we need to start making room for them(starting with Wheeler).
        I got that feeling from “The team can fill a hole and start Wheeler’s development in the majors.”, which you wrote in an earlier comment

        An argument i have against your 2nd point is that I don’t see teams “making room” for a prospect. Usually, they come up when the player they are replacing is ineffective and the GM wants to give the youngster a shot, or if someone goes down for an injury, or if the team is out of contention and there is no pressure on the team to win. Rarely, do i see teams trading away someone before they see if someone is ready. Usually, teams want to see that the prospect is capable of filling in full-time before they trade away the established player.

        And while i was re-reading some of the comments on here it struck me why we have such opposing viewpoints. It seems like you are already willing to concede the 2013 season while I still believe that the Mets can compete next year.

        • Stephen Basile
          October 17, 2012 at 8:17 pm

          Well that post was directed to Zach Ripple.

          Either way, Name, you need to start realizing Wheeler is practically a no miss prospect if he can keep his arm healthy. When a prospect’s floor projection is a #3 starter you know you have a special one. He’s starting this year in AAA, so starting his development by the trade deadline really isn’t that farfetched of an idea; especially, when he’s probably going to compete for the #5 rotation spot in spring.

          And yes that is why we have differing opinions. In my humble opinion, the Mets 2013 season is already determined. Alderson already told the press he is not spending money in free agency, so where do you see the improvements to the OF and C coming from this year? It even came out a week or two ago that Alderson told both Wright and Dickey the long term plan for the Mets going forward and that involved 2013 being another season of a below average-average team.

          The Nationals, Braves, and even Phillies have too much talent next year for the Mets to compete and that’s only in their division and not counting the rest of the National League; Reds, Dodgers, Cardinals, Giants are more teams that will be better than the Mets next year. 2013 is a bust; hopefully, it’ll be the last year of rebuilding and 2014 will bring a competitive team.

          Sorry to have such a pessimistic outlook on 2013, but I just don’t see this line up being able to compete with the lack of power and speed in it. As we all learned this year, you can only get so many timely singles and doubles before the luck runs out. The line up needs more people who can knock it out of the ballpark for quick runs to keep up in every game, as well as players who can swipe bases and get themselves into scoring positions.

          • Mack Ade
            October 17, 2012 at 9:33 pm

            Let me throw my 2 cents in here…

            The Mets have ONE “young arm” coming up soon… Zack Wheeler.

            Pitching well in St. Lucie means nothing. There are a lot of guys that show major league potential, but there is no one in the chain that has dominated AA ball yet (other than what Wheeler has done).

            The Mets are NOT a 2013 playoff contender. That doesn’t mean they won’t make the playoffs (Baltimore), but Sandy and Company are going to have to pull some cheap rabbits out of their hats to pull it off.

            I love the future of the Mets depth at pitching prospects, but only Wheeler is ready. Gorski did not dominate at AA and is at least a year away, but he isn’t the projected addition in 2014.

            On paper, 2014 will be Harvey, Wheeler, Dickey, Niese, Gee

            It will stay that way until someone comes along and takes away the job from someone. That could be Fulmer, Gorski, Montero (my guess), Verrett, Fulmer, or Pill… but… all of them could blow up like the hundreds of other lower level marvels that pitched for this team.

            Name, I love ya, but you write like a fan. I understand that, but you have to be realistic here. You simply don’t trade away one of the only core players you have.

            If you want to win and make the playoffs in both years… you’ll do it with:

            a staff with potentially two SP1s (Harvey and Wheeler)
            a probably Cy Young winner (Dickey)
            one of the greatest pitchers in the history of baseball (Santana)
            and one of the best young lefties in the game

            You add Gee to this and you don’t need anyone else.

            • Stephen Basile
              October 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm

              It’s me calling for the trade of Niese not Name. As always Mack I respect the hell out of your opinion. I’ve been a fan of yours since I was in high school, but I truly believe Wheeler, Harvey, and Montero will be staples in this Mets rotation for a decade at the least; even though Montero has pitched above Single A I love what I’ve seen of him and truly believe he will be getting a lot of attention this season. The rotation will be rounded out by Gee and Dickey (as long as he keeps on ticking).

              I respect Niese as a player as much as you all do as well, but if a team offers us a can’t miss right handed power bat for him this year or at the deadline (assumption is that the Mets won’t be in the playoff race of course) the Mets should pull the trigger. I stand by my opinion and respect all of yours, but if a team offers us a package deal that starts with a Travis D’arnaud like player I’d pull the trigger. Sorry fellow Mets fans!

              • Mack Ade
                October 17, 2012 at 10:08 pm

                Stephen and Name:

                I’m sorry, I should have read your posts deeper.

                My God, you mean Name and I agree :)

                Stephen, I understand your “belief” in Montero, but he’s pitched only 8 games in A+ ball. Wheeler and Harvey have pitched past the hump (AA). Montero hasn’t busted his cherry in a league where so many have dominated:

                2005 – Eddie Camacho – 2.74
                2006 – Michael Devaney – 8-3, 1.62, 1.04
                – Jake Ruckle – 4-3, 1.60, 1.07
                2008 – Tobi Stoner – 2.60/1.06
                Michael Antonini – 4-0, 1.84, 0.93
                Elyvs Quezada – 2.23, 1.14
                2009 – Jenry Mejia – 1.97/1.13
                Josh Stinson – 1.98/1.13
                Stephe Clyne – 1.27/1.08

                should I go on…

                these al ALL the low ERA/WHIPs for those years… ALL of them… and none of these guys have panned out.

                You can not count on anyone pitching in the Florida League… it’s simply too early

                • Stephen Basile
                  October 17, 2012 at 11:48 pm

                  Very true, Mack, but I think we can both agree Montero has the best shot to make it to the major league rotation after Wheeler. Next year will be the true test for Montero though, absolutely, I definitely agree with that fact. I personally just think he’ll be successful next year.

                  I did hype him up in my hype files after all :) Got to stick by my words!

          • Name
            October 18, 2012 at 12:30 am

            Stephen:
            So it looks like it all boils down again to whether one thinks that the Mets can compete in 2013 or whether they should even be given a chance to compete.

            I won’t contribute my opinions on this topic because this comment thread is getting really cluttered and kinda confusing to navigate and because i’m sure this topic will resurface sometime again during the offseason.

        • October 17, 2012 at 9:33 pm

          While we have a lot of young arms coming up who is to say that they will be successful at the major league level? You keep saying we have to make room for them. Why don’t we wait and see if they can perform first before you trade Niese. Then you would be dealing from strength if you have 6 solid starters.Jonathan’s contract will be just as appealing next year as it is this year. The Yankees traded for Michael Pineda and look what happened to him.

          • Mack Ade
            October 17, 2012 at 9:37 pm

            +1

          • Stephen Basile
            October 17, 2012 at 9:47 pm

            I respect this argument, so that’s why it’d be better if Alderson held onto Niese until the trade deadline. By then he’ll have a better understanding of what type of player Wheeler would be and the shape of the rest of the starting pitcher prospects I just mentioned. Unless he’s completely blown away by a teams offer for Niese (Stanton like player) before the season starts.

            • Mack Ade
              October 17, 2012 at 10:10 pm

              and BTW… RA Dickey goes under the knife tomorrow…

              no SP is being traded

              • Stephen Basile
                October 17, 2012 at 11:54 pm

                Very true, Mack, but R.A. will be healthy by the deadline, and by that point this organization will know if Wheeler is ready for the next step and Montero should be on his way to AA if not already there if all goes well with his progress; timing could be right by then.

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