Multiple reports Sunday afternoon say the Mets are close to signing Jonathon Niese to a five-year extension.
Both The Wall Street Journal and ESPNNewYork.com report that the deal would be similar to the five-year, $28.5 million contract Derek Holland signed with the Rangers. The deal would start right away and include team options for 2017 and 2018.
Frankly, I can’t understand why the Mets would do this right now. Don’t get me wrong, I like Niese. I think he will be really good, and all signs out of Spring Training point to a potential breakout season. But he won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2015 season. There really is no rush to do this.
And it’s not like he has set the world on fire during his career thus far — he is 22-23 with a 4.39 ERA and has suffered two season-ending injuries. Why not just wait a couple of months and if Niese gets off to a strong start, then sign him to the contract. Or better yet, wait a couple of years and see if he is for real.
Perhaps the Mets really like what they see in Niese and expect tremendous things from him. I hope they are right and that this deal turns out to be a huge bargain for them. But for a team that is watching every penny and has been burned by big contracts in the past, the timing of this is curious at best.