Jon Niese
Jon Niese
33-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2020 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Jon Niese in 2020. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a one-year, minor-league contract with the Mariners in April of 2019. Released by the Mariners in July of 2019.
Let go by Seattle
PFree Agent  
July 15, 2019
Niese was released by the Mariners on Monday, Mike Curto of the Tacoma Rainiers broadcast booth reports.
Niese appeared in nine games for Triple-A Tacoma in 2019, posting a 5.12 ERA and 1.51 WHIP with a 38:24 K:BB over 70.1 innings. He hasn't surfaced in the big leagues since the 2016 season, across stops with the Mets and the Pirates.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Jon Niese
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
September 4, 2016
Jan Levine explores his free agent waiver pickup options of the week in the National League with around a month left in the 2016 campaign.
NL FAAB Factor: Waiver Pickups of the Week
August 28, 2016
Jan Levine takes a look at the National League free agent pool this week with a special focus on the looming September call-ups that could make an impact.
FanDuel MLB: Tuesday Value Plays
August 23, 2016
Juan Carlos Blanco feels a need for speed Tuesday and likes the matchup for Billy Hamilton, particularly given the Rangers' struggles throwing out base stealers this season.
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Tuesday Picks
August 23, 2016
Neil Parker assembles a Rays stack to exploit the volatile Clay Buchholz on Tuesday, headlined by slugger Evan Longoria.
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Yu the Man This Week
August 20, 2016
Paul Sporer likes the two-start week ahead for Rangers starter Yu Darvish, who has dominated batters since coming off the disabled list.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Following a pretty good run with the Mets, Niese was dealt to the Pirates last offseason, as New York had an abundance of good young arms. The lefty struggled in a big way in Pittsburgh, though, giving up 21 home runs and walking too many batters on his way to a 4.91 ERA before the Pirates decided to cut their losses and trade him back to the Mets right before the trade deadline. He dealt with a knee injury there and had many of the same problems -- giving up nine walks and four home runs in just 11 innings -- in his return to Queens. The down year resulted in the club declining his option, leaving Niese as a free agent heading into the offseason. Despite his 2016 results, the 30-year-old will still likely be given the chance to win a back-end rotation spot somewhere, though he may not have much of a margin for error if he continues to struggle.
Niese has never been a steady source of strikeouts, but last season brought a new level of his contact-heavy approach, as he generated a career-low 5.8-percent swinging-strike rate but managed to post the highest groundball rate (54.5 percent) of his career. The results were a mixed bag, however, as he posted a 4.13 ERA (backed by a 4.41 FIP), and his mistakes were punished by opposing hitters at the second-highest clip of his career (1.0 HR/9). It remains to be seen if the increase in home runs is actually part of his skill set now, as Niese had a HR/FB rate that jumped to 14.3 percent in 2015 (career 11.1 percent). Pushed out of New York with the arrival of the team's bumper crop of young arms, Niese was flipped to the Pirates in December for second baseman Neil Walker, where he will be another retooling project for Pittsburgh pitching coach Ray Searage.
Niese has developed into a really solid arm and while he is far from a stud, he has value. He has yet to log a 200-inning season, but he now has three straight years of strong ERAs and his FIP has been below 4.00 in five of the last six seasons. The lefty is a strikeout liability, having dipped into the high-teens after a pair of 20-percent seasons in 2011-12, but if you are just looking for some useful innings at the backend of your rotation, he can definitely fulfill that role. In fact, if you are able to carefully deploy him for just the home starts, he becomes a very valuable asset. He has back-to-back seasons of 2.70s ERA at home and last year’s came with a 19.3% strikeout rate and 3.6 K:BB ratio. The development of the Mets’ rotation has pushed Niese down and he could legitimately end up being their fifth starter soon, but as long as he is taking his turn every fifth day, he merits consideration.
When Niese landed on the disabled list on June 22 with a partially torn rotator cuff, he was 3-6 with a 4.32 ERA and a weak 49:33 K:BB ratio. Batters were hitting .336 off his cutter and .321 off his curveball. After returning, Niese went 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA and 54:13 K:BB ratio while batters hit .246 and .225, respectively, against his cutter and curveball. Niese's late-season resurgence may have been a direct result of him sitting out two months rehabbing his shoulder, which aided his two most important pitches. He enters 2014 as the Mets' likely Opening Day starter due to Matt Harvey's absence and is signed through 2016 with club options through 2018.
Perhaps lost in the shadow of R.A. Dickey's Cy Young season was the growth Niese showed in his third full campaign in New York. In addition to lowering his walk rate (2.3 BB/9), Niese shaved 64 points from his BABIP (.285) and matched his previous best with a career-high 30 starts. The biggest difference appears to be the success of his cutter, which opposing hitters teed off on in 2011 (.364 BAA, .586 SLG), but found much less success against last season (.238 BAA, .376 SLG). A closer look at the data also shows that hitters made contact more frequently on pitches outside of the strike zone (75.2%), perhaps an indication that the BABIP improvement is sustainable with the presumably weaker contact Niese induced. Expect similar numbers from him again in 2013 as the team's No. 2 starter.
When Niese was on, he was really on, mixing a low-90s fastball with a 12-to-6 curveball, change-up and cutter. However, for all the strides he made last season, Niese saw his ERA rise each of the last three months of the year, topping out at 7.15 in August before he was sidelined for the balance of the year with an intercostal strain. The key for him, like most pitchers, is establishing his secondary pitches for strikes as his fastball is not overpowering. Niese must be more effective with his change-up to righties, as they blasted him for a .291 BAA. That said, Niese was hurt by a low 69.7 percent strand rate and .349 BABIP, which is evident in his 3.36 FIP compared to his 4.40 ERA. Perhaps 2012 will be his breakout season, and he'll open the year as the Mets' No. 2 starter.
Niese recovered nicely from a 2009 hamstring injury to win a spot in the Mets' rotation out of spring training and then pitched well in three of the first four months of the year. Niese posted a 4.43 ERA in August, then saw the bottom fall out, posting a 7.11 ERA and 1.974 WHIP in September, likely due to fatigue in his first full season in the majors. Overall, Niese saw an uptick in K/9IP rate while his other numbers were fairly static and his FIP was nearly equal to his actual ERA. When he is on, Niese mixes a low-90s fastball with a 12-to-6 curveball, changeup and cutter and should open 2011 as the Mets' third starter.
Niese, one of the Mets' top pitching prospects, started 2009 in rough fashion, struggling in spring training, then early on at Triple-A Buffalo and in a brief stint in the majors. In mid-June, everything seemed to click and Niese was an absolute ace in his last eight starts at Triple-A, not allowing more than two runs in any of them while putting up a 46:13 K:BB ratio. In his third start following a promotion, Niese was injured trying to stretch at first base to turn a double-play, resulting a complete tear of the right upper hamstring tendon from the bone that required surgery. Niese is expected to be ready for spring training, and depending on what the Mets do in free agency/trade market, he should get a chance to compete for a fourth/fifth rotation spot.
Niese built off the success he had in 2008 by pitching well enough at Double- and Triple-A to get his feet wet with the Mets, having one good and two poor outings as the team tried to keep their pennant hopes alive. Some of Niese's success in 2008 can be attributed to the addition of a cutter, which is now a major weapon for him against righties, in addition to his low-90's fastball, improving 12-to-6 curveball and changeup, though he tends to nibble at times and not trust his stuff, leading to high pitch counts. The Mets plan on having Niese contend for their No. 5 starter spot in spring training and his ceiling is thought to be that of a No. 2/3 starter in the majors.
Niese lost 21 pounds before the 2007 season to try and prevent a previously bothersome arm injury and to improve his conditioning. Much of his success is due to his heavy sinking changeup, the grip of which he adjusted from a circle change that caused blisters on his pitching hand. He struggled out of the gate in 2007, possibly getting used to his new body type, but rebounded to dominate late in the year and in the playoffs. Niese also has a low-90's fastball and an improving curveball along with the change, though he tends to nibble at times and not trust his stuff. Based on his strong finish at High-A St. Lucie, Niese should start 2008 at Double-A Binghamton with an eye towards a late-September 2009 callup to the Mets.
More Fantasy News
Candidate for spot start
PSeattle Mariners  
June 1, 2019
Niese, who's 3-1 with a 4.68 ERA over seven appearances (six starts) at Triple-A Tacoma, is a candidate to be called up and make a spot start Tuesday against the Astros in place of Yusei Kikuchi, Greg Johns of reports.
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Signs with Mariners
PSeattle Mariners  
April 25, 2019
Niese signed a minor-league contract with the Mariners, Greg Johns of reports.
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Opts for independent baseball
PFree Agent  
April 10, 2019
Niese signed with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball on Wednesday, Jordan Lauterbach of Newsday reports.
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Cut loose by Texas
PFree Agent  
March 16, 2018
Niese (shoulder) was released by the Rangers on Friday, Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News reports.
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Dealing with strained shoulder
PTexas Rangers  
March 15, 2018
Niese is dealing with a strained muscle in his left shoulder and will be sidelined 4-to-6 weeks as a result, T.R. Sullivan of reports.
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