Texas Rangers rumors: Starting pitchers Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Bartolo Colon are being shopped by the New York Mets, and Jon Heyman writes that the expectation is that one of those pitchers "will be traded fairly soon."
Colon had a 4.09 ERA (85 ERA+) in 202 innings pitched last season, and is due $11 million for the 2015 season; he seems unlikely to be someone the Rangers would prioritize. However, Niese and Gee are both young and under team control beyond 2015, making them more attractive and better fits for the Rangers, particularly in light of Jon Daniels' statements that the team is focusing on finding a pitcher who would not be a one year rental.
Heyman says that the Mets are looking for a shortstop, and with the Rangers having Luis Sardinas as a potential trade chip, there could be the makings of a match there, depending on what the Mets' front office thinks of Sardinas -- there apparently is a split in the baseball world between those who thinks he profiles as a future starting shortstop, and those who view him as a utility guy.
We wrote about Niese as a potential trade target last month, and he's the most desirable of the three pitchers the Mets are shopping, particularly at $7M and $9M for 2015 and 2016, plus team options at $10M and $11M in 2017 and 2018...he's a short-term option who gives you a lot of flexibility, and the potential for a lot of value, should he return to form.
Gee is a 28 year old righthander from Cleburne, and then the University of Texas at Arlington, who isn't eligible for free agency until after 2016. He's had less success than Niese, but would be less expensive to acquire, as well.
The Rangers aren't the only team out there that wants starting pitching, of course...but with Heyman saying the expectation is that a move will be made fairly soon, and the Rangers clearly prioritizing trading for a starting pitcher, a Mets/Rangers deal would not be all that surprising.