Rumor: Mets have to be “Knocked Out” to deal Niese

It’s becoming less and less likely that the Mets will trade left handed starter Jonathon Niese this offseason. At first the rumor was that they were just looking for a “placeholder pitcher” and another prospect, then supposed demands got a little more expensive and the latest is that they would have to be “knocked out” in order to deal Niese, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.

The Yankees, who rarely make trades with the Mets, apparently called their cross-town rivals once they heard Niese was on the market. The thinking was that he has strong peripherals and was perhaps the victim of the poor Mets defense and that he might come cheaper than say Gio Gonzalez as a result. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

It’s hard to gauge the Yankees level of interest since talks seemed to have gone nowhere, but they have been very reluctant to deal any of their top prospects in a deal. It is tough to imagine they would part with their best prospects for Niese.

We got a decent look at the cost of starting pitchers this week after the Padres dealt Mat Latos to the Reds earlier this week. Latos is a young 24-year-old who has put up decent numbers in his short major league career. In order to land him the Reds had to give up starter Edinson Volquez and three of their top five prospects.

The Yankees have been stingy with their prospects this offseason so it is easy to see why they weren’t in on that deal. The rough, very rough equivalent would have been Phil Hughes, Jesus Montero, Dellin Betances, and Austin Romine for a pitcher with very little track record himself. Not an easy deal to pull the trigger on.

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