Reports surfaced late Sunday afternoon that the New York Yankees had signed veteran lefty Jon Niese to a minor league deal. Niese, 30, will be entering his 10th year in the bigs, and the Yankees will be his third team after spending most of his career with the Mets, and half of a season with the Pirates.
Niese's numbers plummeted last year, after being a pretty effective starter for the Mets between 2010 and 2015. Niese was never dominant, but was very reliable for the Mets in their rotation. Niese was dealt to Pittsburgh prior to last season in exchange for Neil Walker, and struggled to pitch for his new team. He also offered some choice words for the Mets infield defense after he was traded, which became really awkward when he was dealt back to New York later in the year, posting an ugly 11.45 ERA in six games for the Mets.
Looking at this signing, it's a sensible deal for the Yankees. The rotation for the Yanks is a little sketchy, with a lot of injury prone players, and even more inconsistent young arms. In addition, Niese can be effective out of the bullpen. Considering the Yankees pen features Aroldis Chapman, Chasen Shreve, Tyler Clippard, a disgruntled Dellin Betances and a whole lot of unknown, Niese could provide a solid relief arm who can start if necessary.