Jon Niese “shocked” he had to take a minor-league deal


The last few seasons have not been kind to Jon Niese

After dealing with knee surgery, he found out his market was slim because of the knee injury. And he had to admit he was surprised when the Yankees called and offered him a minor-league deal.

In the end, Niese thought the Yankees were the best fit for him.

“I thought it was a really good fit,” Niese said after arriving at Yankees camp on Monday. “I thought I had a good chance to make the ballclub, and that’s my goal.”

Niese is being considered for the starting rotation and the Yankees bullpen. However Joe Girardi thinks that Niese has a better shot as a reliever, either as a longman or in a situational role.

“I’m just really fortunate to be part of this organization,” Niese said. “It’s one of the most successful franchises in history. I’m proud to wear the uniform. With the Mets, they treated me well there and I had a lot of good years, made a lot of good friends. Nothing but great things to say about that organization, but just like every ballplayer sometimes you just have to move on and careers go in different directions.”

Other Notes From Camp:

— Not sure why this was considered backpage news on the New York Daily News, but Clint Frazier cut his hair to comply with Yankees rules. Well, sort of. Frazer’s hair is still pretty long.

— Nick Swisher is at Yankees camp as a guest instructor. In case you missed it, Swisher recently retired from baseball and will be an analyst on FOX Sports.

— Alex Rodriguez is expected to be at Yankees camp tomorrow as a guest instructor.

— Matt Holliday is already proving that he’s a veteran presence on the team. After offering some advice to Aaron Judge, Judge homered to straightaway center. Greg Bird also went deep during batting practice.

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