Report: Yankees have called Mets about Jon Niese

Cashman: Yankees only had "early conversations" with Buehrle
Linkage: Yankees won't overpay to add to rotation

Via Andy Martino, the Yankees have called the Mets about Jon Niese after seeing that the left-hander has been made available in a trade. Talks are nothing more than preliminary at the moment though. Joel Sherman says the Amazin’s want “a place holder starter” and a “main prospect piece” in return, which sounds reasonable.

I might do a longer breakdown of Niese’s game if talks intensify, but I am a fan. He’s a 25-year-old left-baller that doesn’t walk many and gets ground balls with a better-than-average strikeout rate. Like the more-hyped Gio Gonzalez, Niese is under team control through 2015, though he still has one year at the league minimum left before arbitration. The only problem is that he’s thrown more than 170 IP in a season just once in his career thanks to hamstring and oblique problems. Cross-town trades don’t happen often, but I think this is one worth pursuing.

Cashman: Yankees only had "early conversations" with Buehrle
Linkage: Yankees won't overpay to add to rotation
  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    “a place holder starter” and a “main prospect piece” in return, which sounds reasonable.

    Warren and Romine, perhaps?

    • Yu aint Matsuzaka

      That seems just about right.

      The package should be built as those 2 as the centerpieces.

    • RetroRob

      That’s too much.

      I am not a fan of Niese. : -)

  • Granderslam

    Yes please! I tried my best to avoid giving my very own “sucky” trade proposal, and I am sure many teams have expressed interest in such a young, talented LHP, but…I wonder if a high-level pitcher (Phelps, Warren type) plus a Nunez (they just lost Reyes) and other supplementary players can make way for some sort of deal. Although I am sure Betances/Banuelos would have to join the conversation as well.

    • mbonzo

      I’m thinking Williams/Sanchez plus a Warren/Phelps and a non-prospect.

    • Reggie C.

      By “high level” … you mean a pitcher in Triple A, right?

      Either way, I’m on board with a trade proposal of one of Phelps/Warren/DJ Mitchell and E. Nunez.

      Heck, i’d even do two of those three pitchers + Nunez. We’d retain the trio of Noesi, Betances, and Banuelos, and afford more vital prep time to the latter two given that Niese can almost immediately become the #4 starter.

  • mbonzo

    This would be great, he posted a 3.28 xFIP last year. If he’s attainable for less than Montero, Betances, and Banuelos, I’m in.

    • candyforstalin

      unfortunately, in his case, tera tells a much more accurate story.

      • mbonzo

        3.77 tERA is still not bad at all.
        CC had a 3.75.

        • candyforstalin

          nl, citi field, and sabathia outperforms his tera pretty much every year. niese is a gb pitcher with ld tendencies which means high babip. he’s a #4 with #3 upside.

          • mbonzo

            20.5% LD rate in his career. Thats fairly low. Less LD% means lower FIP and tERA, which is what we have.

            He is an NL pitcher, but he’s also in a pretty tough hitters league.

            The effects of Citifield should be seen in xFIP, but it only decreases his FIP by .08, thats because he has a low FB%.

        • RetroRob

          …right, which pretty much tells us all we need to know. He’s not anywhere near CC class, yet the number says he is, which leads us to the next question….

          • Mister Delaware

            “Can I write off a metric because I don’t like a single player vs player comparison”?

            • RetroRob

              Where did I say I’m writing off the entire metric?

              I’m pointing out the obvious. There’s an issue here.

              • mbonzo

                Yea, the issue is that his fielders had limited range or AAA players who weren’t ready to play in the bigs. Are you really surprised pitchers on the Mets have trouble because their fielders can’t catch the ball?

      • JobaWockeeZ

        3.42 SIERA last year. Point is most advanced metrics would make him the second best starter on the Yankees’ staff.

    • RetroRob

      FIP does not translate between leagues.

      Fringe lefty. I’d be shocked if he could post an ERA below 4.50 in the AL East.

  • Simon

    Would Noesi + Romine do the trick?

  • Fred

    A 4.40 era in the National League and pitching in a pitchers park would equate to a 5.60 era in the AL East.

    The only player I give up for him is AJ Burnett and pay half of his salary.

    Noesi is going to be twice the player he will ever be.

    • mbonzo

      He had a 3.28 xFIP last year and a 3.80 xFIP the year before.

      Just to put that in context, Sabathia had a 3.02 xFIP last year and 3.63 the year before. Nova? He had a 4.16 xFIP.

      • Gonzo

        Also, his tERA, SIERA, and xFIP all improved from 2010 to 2011. That sounds like a good sign.

      • pat

        If someone quotes era then extrapolates a fake one to show the effects of a NL to Al move, they’re not going to give a crap about advanced stats.

  • Ben

    Maybe that’s why they are trying to sign Hiroyuki Nakajima, Noesi + Nakajima for Niese

    • Bryan G

      Nakajima is 29 years old. I don’t think he really qualifies as the “main prospect piece”.

      • JohnnyC

        He’s probably better than Ruben Tejada.

  • CMP

    Niese could probably be a solid 3/4 starter in the AL east. I wouldn’t give up anything too great for him but someone from the Phelps/Mitchell/Warren group plus Romine or Nunez wouldn’t be bad.

    I wouldn’t give up Nova or Noesi since either probably will be at least as good as Niese as soon as next year and have a little higher ceiling in my opinion.

    • ADam

      Too Much, Cervelli and Warren is the best offer they’d get

    • RetroRob

      I don’t seem him being any better than a #5 in the AL East.

  • Steve (different one)

    Niese reminds me of a poor man’s Pettitte. Don’t really understand why the Mets would want to move him.

  • Gary Sartori

    Well, the Yanks could use a left handed bullpen guy. I would not make him a starter though. Strictly bullpen!!!

    • FIPster Doofus


  • ADam

    Pass Pass Pass

  • MeGustaMontero (JM)

    Warren/Phelps/Mitchell and Nunez? Maybe two of the pitchers and Nunez? Is that a good deal/what they’re looking for? I know YTPS but “main prospect piece” is pretty vague.

  • Mike

    “number 3/4 starter” is seemingly and amazingly getting used as an insult in some of these comments. That’s what Nova is and I’m damn glad he’s on the team.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Tell me about it. How many No. 3-caliber starters do the Yankees even have other than Nova? I wouldn’t trust Garcia in that role again, and Burnett is clearly a No. 5 nowadays. Hughes is a wild card – maybe he’ll bounce back and be a mid-rotation starter, or maybe he’ll flame out.

      Point is, regardless of where he’d ultimately slot in the Yanks’ rotation, Niese would be a nice pickup for the right price.

      • Mister Delaware

        Isn’t Burnett more of a #2/#7?

        I’d take a rotation of legit #3s.

        • FIPster Doofus

          Same here, especially considering the Yankees already have a legit ace in CC. They just need some solid complements after him and they’ll be fine.

        • RetroRob

          #3, meaning a legit #3, is a very good thing. Think of Pettitte as a many who made a career as being basically a legit #3.

          Neise is so not a #3 in the AL East.

          • Mike Axisa

            Neise is so not a #3 in the AL East.

            Are you going to provide some evidence for that, or just keep repeating it and hope it comes true?

            • http://none Favrest

              He’s clearly not a #3. Yet. There is no evidence to prI’ve that he will/won’t be. This is where you duct tape the mouth of the Moneyball stat geek, and either trust/don’t trust the gut of your scout. Niese is still very young. I think if they want a SS like Nunez, you make that deal. I wouldn’t give them Banuelos or Betances, but if Warren and Nunez gets it done, you do it. It’s a risk worth taking. Pitching cost us 2011. Let’s learn from it. Even if Niese is a long man, spot starter, I like his game, and I see improvement.

              • mbonzo

                Nope the evidence is there, at least enough to steal him away from the Mets before he has that breakout season. This is why we keep statistics. Niese pitched well, but dealt with young and inexperienced fielders. Oh but they had Reyes and Wright you say? Guess who ranked last in almost all fielding stats… The Mets.

                Any pitcher on that team is a buy low, Niese is the best of them if you ask me. He’s much more than a long man or spot starter. He could easily be a #3 with the Yankees.

                • RetroRob

                  Okay, quickly here, and also addressing Mike A’s note above.

                  That’s an interesting perspective, and one I won’t entirely disagree with, yet let’s remember the current Mets front office understands advanced metrics. Niese is exactly the type of guy that Sandy Alderson and Jonah Hill — I mean Paul DePodesta — would be looking to acquire. A buy-low candidate whose peripherals suggest a better pitcher hides behind the more traditional ugly numbers. Yet, if the reports are true, here they are, making him available in a trade. That means one of two things to me:

                  a) On the talent evaluation side they don’t believe he’s actually as good as the 2011 peripherals suggest (I’m in this camp) and want to move him now.

                  b) They believe he is as good as his peripherals suggest and they’re counting on the fact that the majority of MLB teams also now use advanced metrics and will value him properly in a deal. (I can almost add in a “c” option here, which is kind of a blend of A and B. They may be trying to do a reverse Moneyball move here, knowing so many teams follow advanced metrics, they may be trying to snooker the market on a player they don’t think is as good as the secondary stats suggest.)

                  Option “B” means the Yankees will not be able to steal him away from the Mets. With the front office the Mets have now and what they’re trying to accomplish, I think there is almost no chance of “stealing” a player from the Mets. They’re going to trade him for high-end prospects they can use to rebuild their team. That’s the issue I have here. It’s not that I don’t like Neise. I’d be more than happy to have him on the team. He’s young, he’s a lefty, and he generates ground balls at a good rate.

                  My issue is I don’t view him as highly as some do here, suggesting he’s a number three. I have him more back-end. He’s been consistently inconsistent with his mechanics, and his stuff is fringy enough that if he doesn’t have great command of his curve then he becomes very hittable. The curve is good, but his cutter and change are kind of meh. He has not shown durability to be a 200-inning pitcher. I expect some regression on his strikeout rate in 2012, even if he stays in the NL, much more so in shifting to the AL. This all adds up to someone less than a three.

                  Last, and I’ll touch on this more if the Yankees were actually to trade for Niese, I am in the Keith Law camp on xFIP, which means I think it is quite overrated. I am a fan of FIP, although league adjustment must be made, and there is some developing belief that pitchers moving from large ballparks to more hitter friendly environments will suffer more on the FIP front. That’s a whole discussion for another day.

                  My concern is price. I don’t want the Yankees to overpay thinking they’re getting a #3. I’d be more than happy if Niese came in and replaced AJ in the rotation, but know what they’re getting: A back-end pitcher.

            • RetroRob

              I missed this last night. Addressed below in my comment to mbonzo.

              Although I don’t think you said so above, based on your comment to me, I’m gathering you must think he’s a #3. If the Yankees get him, well I hope you’re right.

          • Mister Delaware

            Pettitte is 11th in career WAR over the last quarter century.

          • Steve (different one)

            I think you are underselling Pettitte here. He was a #2 with a few seasons as a #1/2. If Pettitte wanted to play a few more seasons, he could have been a borderline HoFer. That’s not a #3

            • RetroRob

              Granted, although my comment about Pettitte being a #3 probably says more about what I view as a #3. , In a five-man rotationm, and with a team like the Yankees that is challenging for the World Series every year, I have very high expectations for a #3. It’s a 200-inning, solidly above league average pitcher. Pettitte did have years where he was a #2, and even touched #1, but he spent most of his years as a #3-level pitcher. From me, I mean that as compliment.

              In fact, I think you’re underselling Pettitte in one way. I view Pettitte as a borderline HOFer right now, although one that will fall short. I always thought with his style of pitching he could remain effective into his early 40s. He had a very real chance to win 300 games if he didn’t retire.

  • MannyGeee

    I’d gladly take him at the prices being thrown around here. Thinking Nunez could be a fit in Queens and would start immediately. I would do Noesi and Nunez all day long for Niese

  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

    Phelps, Adams, and I wish I could say Laird here, but his position is just as blocked in Queens. Pena would work here as well. I’m thinking blocked pieces in the minors that could start for other teams.

    My trade proposal (if this even is one), of course, sucks.

  • Rookie

    When I look at his minor league and his major league stats, I don’t get the interest in Niese.

  • http://none Favrest

    Niese is a baby, and he’s been every bit as good as John Danks. If they’d take Eduardo Nunez and a B level pitcher I’d make that deal in a NY minute.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Well, the Mets clearly need a shortstop now, so I’m sure Nunez+ would interest them.

  • TheTallOne

    Niese’s numbers look good to me. His ERA has no doubt been adversely affected by what Fangraphs ranks as the worst defense in all of baseball last year. His K/BB are very good.

    Because of all that, I can’t imagine the Mets would give him up for as little as what people are saying in this thread.

  • Bubba

    The thing that gives me pause is why is an arguably good inexpensive starting pitcher being made available. I know the Mets have a lot of holes to fill, but isn’t pitching one of them?

    • Mister Delaware

      When you have a pretty shallow talent pool, you’re looking for multiple for one trades. Niese has pretty decent value right now and will probably be somewhat expensive by the time the Mets expect to be good.

    • John Ya Ya

      It’s especially strange when the Mets just blew a chunk of change on two relievers yesterday and traded for a third. If the games started in the sixth innings, they’d be all set.

  • JonS

    i think he would be a great addition. Ive always liked Niese (draft him every year in FB) He’s young, got the curve ball that Gio has and doesn’t walk as much as him. Gio is my top guy in trade talks but he is going to get a huge package in return. I would take Niese for a package of:

    C.Joseph/D.Adams, Warren, Mitchell, and Murphy.

    N still with this package i would be willing to add one more smaller piece (very small)

  • nycsportzfan

    Eh Niese is all right but i don’t see the upside that i see with Gio or Jair for that matter I realize prospect wise its a cheaper option but i’d rather get Jair or Gio myself A decent consolation prize i suppose

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    Lefties are always a good commodity especially when they throw strikes. Niese appears to be a good pitcher who can improve more still. However, I would not include Noesi, Betances, Banuelos in any package for him. If Nunez has to be included in the package so be it.

  • jack knife

    this just blows my mind Romanski is a Yankee and a LOOGY candidate. His numbers are good but no one mentions him. Damm trade him for Niese and let himgo somewhere so he can move if he is not even a consideration

    he”s 25 a college standout ,team usa, a high draft pick and has gone thru the Yankee ranks quickly