For everyone who says “why would Sandy Alderson even think about trading Jon Niese”? You got your answer yesterday when the San Diego Padres traded Matt Latos to the Cincinnati Reds for a cache of prime prospects.
The Reds see 2012 as their shot at winning the NL Central and putting together a pitching rotation that would stand up to the post season test so they took the big leap and dealt off four prize prospects, Yonder Alonso, Edinson Volquez, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger to add a pitcher they feel will put them thismuchcloser to being a pennant winner.
This brings us to Jon Niese and to Gio Gonzalez. Billy Beane saw the trend as did Sandy Alderson but Josh Byrnes was the first to act on it. We’ve been looking for the next undervalued commodity in baseball and we’ve found it, the twenty-something pitcher whose contract is under team control. Beane and Alderson are in the same boat so to speak, they both can’t compete with the top teams in their division as presently put together and both have owners with money issues, although Beane is in a bit better spot than Alderson as his team with the help of the strong armed Bud Selig, could get their wish and get permission to move the A’s from the Black Hole of the Coliseum to San Jose, thats’ if the Giants show them the way (the Giants own the territorial rights so they do know the way to San Jose, a multi-million dollar check to waive those rights) any way back to Alderson and the Mets.
From hearing all the talk of Gonzalez being on the trade stroll and so many teams with large pockets and plentiful prospects to trade, Alderson and his staff decided to put Jon Niese’ name on the stroll as well. One ridiculous rumor was the Mets sending Niese to Colorado for 29 year old outfielder Seth Smith, please, that’s an Al Harazin kind of move and one I’m sure was let out after a few whiskeys and ryes by a guy who thinks he’s a cowboy, no if Alderson is going to trade Niese he’s going to get players who fill many of the voids the Mets have.
Alderson made it plain that the Mets catching situation is in dire need of an overhaul, not just at the major league level but organization wide. The club also needs help in adding prospects to its minor league system to accelerate the rebuilding (yes I used the “R” word) of the franchise into a contending team once again.
I can’t fault Mets fans when they get jumpy when they hear of a 25 year old pitcher being shopped as we have seen so many Mets GM’s get fleeced in the past but I’m pretty confident that if Niese is dealt it will be to a contending team or one just on the cusp and views Niese as a missing piece and is willing to pay a big premium to get to the promised land.
It’s a win-win for the Mets, Niese is dealt to fill multiple spots or he stays and becomes a solid major league pitcher. It’s not often I used the phrase Win-Win when discussing the Mets.