I just wanted to quickly let my thoughts on the Jonathon Niese deal be known. For those who are unaware, Niese today agreed to a five-year, $25 million deal, with club options for 2017 and 2018 which could raise the total value of the deal to $46 million. Niese went 11-11 last season with a 4.40 ERA.
I am a huge fan of this deal. Niese is a solid lefty with potential. His numbers don’t look great, (unless you look at the sabermetrics) but he doesn’t exactly have the best supporting cast. Many have compared Niese to the likes of Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals. Gonzalez has better classical numbers, but Niese fares well with the advanced statistics.
I also like this deal because it essentially puts Niese under team control for seven years. He would become a free agent after 2015 when his arbitration ends, but now at minimum, he will hit the market in 2016, and possibly 2018 if the options are picked up. If he blossoms into a very good pitcher, the Mets won’t have to worry about paying $13 million in arbitration because he is now on a set figure. The Rays may have started a trend last year when they locked up prospect Matt Moore to a long-term deal for a very low price tag.
One last positive that came from this deal was the Mets proving they are financially sound. We all had a decent understanding of what we thought were the Mets finances, and many thought this deal, or one like it would happen, but it’s still relieving. The Mets wouldn’t make this deal if they didn’t believe they could pay it. It’s a good PR move all around.
Hopefully this deal will be worthwhile for the Mets. Who knows? Maybe Jonathon Niese becomes a number one starter. That would be fantastic. Even if Niese only marginally improves, the Mets made a great move in locking up a young pitcher.