Cardinals Rumors: Mets’ Jon Niese not openly available?


The St. Louis Cardinals have some of the best young starters in the game. But could they look to shore up the back end of the rotation before the July 31 deadline?

Earlier this summer, I wrote about the St. Louis Cardinals’ starting rotation and, while it’s easily  one of the best in all of Major League Baseball, it might not be a bad idea to shore up the ranks with a midseason move.

Then, I talked about the Cardinals and Dylan Gee, who has been mentioned often in trade rumors so far this season. This week, Marc Carig noted that the Mets’ front office feels it has enough in the farm system to get a midseason deal done and, thus, may not be particularly inclined to deal from their rotation.

More specifically, it’s been reported that Jon Niese isn’t being actively shopped, taking a back-end starting option off the table for those teams looking to add pitching without emptying the farm system in a trade.

The New York southpaw is a quality option for any teams looking for that middle-of-the-pack option for the stretch run. Niese carries a 3.61 earned run average into the third week of July, which sits right in line with his career mark.

Sure, he’s a .500 pitcher in his time in the big leagues, but he hasn’t exactly played for World Series-caliber Mets teams during that stretch, either.

As we all know by now, the days of judging a pitcher solely on wins and losses are long-gone. Jon Niese is the perfect example of this.

So if the Mets somehow hold onto their stockpile of arms through the trade deadline, where does that leave the Cardinals?

Other notable options outside of Niese and Gee include Ian Kennedy and Mike Leake, both of whom I touched on when I delved into Gee last month.

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Kennedy has been disappointing this season, as has San Diego as a team. Leake is one of several Cincinnati Reds players who could be on the move this summer, given the team’s apparent struggles – but so far, nothing has been done.

You could make the case that with Lynn back in the swing of things and a potential return of either Marco Gonzalez or Jaime Garcia in the near future does the same thing as any trade would in terms of adding pitching depth.

That being said, as the Cardinals have seen this year, injuries do happen and relying on the likes of Gonzalez and Garcia staying healthy isn’t exactly a comfortable though.

Despite their weathering of the injuries during the season’s first-half, the Cardinals could learn a valuable lesson and take out an insurance policy heading toward October.

The reports say the Mets are standing pat with their rotation, but don’t count them out as we near the end of the month. It just makes too much sense for them to not make a move.

Next: Five concerns Cardinals need to address moving forward