Andy Martino of the Daily News, asks a thought-provoking question in his column this morning:
Turns out that the Mets had that choice according to Martino.
While Niese faced Team Venezuela Wednesday in Port St. Lucie, two people with direct knowledge of last December’s deal told me that the Blue Jays were willing to send the same package to New York in exchange for Niese.
“Toronto has loved Niese for years,” one source said. “They absolutely would have done that.”
The view from here has always been that the Mets should have retained Dickey, and found another way to stock the farm system, but we’ll give equal time to the other perspective. Niese is much younger, lefthanded, and working under a team-friendly contract. At 26, he probably has more years remaining in baseball than the 38-year-old knuckleballer.
That’s kind of difficult to answer. On the one hand you have the reigning Cy Young winner who may be one of the top five pitchers in the game right now, while on the other hand you have a reliable number a solid mid-rotation pitcher who is much younger and has a team friendly contract with four more years remaining on it.
Of course the contract extension Dickey signed is also a huge value considering what other pitchers of his caliber earn.
There really is no wrong answer here, and either way it’s a great deal for the Mets.
But looking at the team now and the lack of a reliable ace it wouldn’t be far-fetched to have kept Dickey and the veteran leadership that comes along with him.
Ironically, if Johan Santana isn’t ready to pitch on Opening Day, it just may be Niece who gets the nod. Hopefully, things go better for Niese than they did for Mike Pelfrey when circumstances forced him into a similar situation.
What do you think?