With Opening Day hours away, the Mets began the 2012 season on a positive note by agreeing to a contract with left-hander Jon Niese.
In agreeing to the five-year, $25.5 million deal – pending a physical – the Mets will avoid the arbitration and free-agent processes and locked up one of their most important young players.
With the Mets resolving their most stressing financial problem is reaching a settlement in the Madoff scandal, their next most important step is to achieve as much economic certainty as possible. That would be in reaching long-term obligations with their young talent.
They did it with David Wright and Jose Reyes several years ago. The next wave would be Niese, Ike Davis, and possibly Wright again.
Niese won a career-high 11game last year before it was cut short with a side injury. There’s no guarantee Niese will become the next Jerry Koosman, but his career is off to a good start and he’s caught the attention of others. Several teams have inquired into Niese and for good reason; he’s immensely talented and poised. And, hard throwing left-handers are a premium.
The Mets have taken deserved heat for their questionable decisions. They should also get credit for their good moves, and this is one.