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Niese signs five-year extension with Mets

Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese throws a pitch

Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese throws a pitch in the top of the first inning against the Braves. (Credit: Christopher Pasatieri)

The Mets have signed left-handed starter Jonathon Niese to a five-year contract extension that could keep him with the team through 2018.

“Jon has been a very solid starter for us,” general manager Sandy Alderson said in a press conference before Saturday’s matinee with the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.

“A quality left-hander is not a rare commodity, but certainly a very valuable commodity. We’re very pleased with what he’s done for us through 2011 and we think he has the potential to improve substantially.”

Niese, 25, stands to earn $1.02M this season, $3M in 2013, $5M in 2014, $7M in 2015 and $9M in 2016.

There are two club options for 2017 and 2018, worth $10M and $10.5, respectively. Each of those years comes with a $500,000 buyout.

The lefty went 11-11 with a 4.40 ERA in 27 games (26 starts) last year. In 157.1 innings, he allowed 178 hits, 88 runs, 77 earned, with 44 walks and 138 strikeouts.

Conversations between both parties began in early March and concluded before the end of spring training, Alderson said. The longterm goal, the GM added, is to “build a core of players that can be Mets and make the Mets competitive for a long period of time.

“And I think Jonathon fits into that mold for us,” Alderson continued. “This is a propitious time, given the Major League service that Jon has. It’s an opportunity for him to get some security, it’s an opportunity for us to ensure that he’s with us for a longer period of time. And I think the other thing is, there was a mutual interest in doing this.”

Niese, who was selected in the seventh round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, is 22-23 with a 4.39 ERA during his major league career.

“I’m proud to be with the Mets,” the 6-4, 217-pounder said. “I love the teammates, I love the organization. I think we’re going in the right direction. And I’m just happy to be here.” 

Tags: mets , jonathon niese , sandy alderson

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