Following rumors last week that a deal was in the works, the Mets and Jon Niese have agreed on a long-term contract extension that could keep him with the team through 2018. The full year-by-year detail has yet to be released, but the meat of the deal is a five-year, $25.5 million extension, the first year of which will presumably supersede the pre-arbitration contract he was given for 2012.
The Mets will also hold team options for 2017 and 2018 at $11 million and $11.5 million respectively. Niese was under team control for another four years, so the guaranteed portion of the deal buys out one of his free agency seasons — 2015 — and offers the Mets some flexibility to keep him on a little while after that.
While Niese's ERAs the last two seasons have been modest — 4.20 in 2010 and 4.40 in 2011 — his Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) marks have been notably better: 3.80 and 3.28. As his strikeout, walk, and home run rates have been fine — batter outcomes which are largely within his control — the disparity between his ERAs and FIPs can be attributed primarily to adventitious factors like shoddy defense, bad luck, and so forth.