UPDATE: According to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the Dodgers are also interested in Jon Niese. Los Angeles has been on the lookout for pitching depth due to season-ending injuries to Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy.
ORIGINAL: New York needs infield depth and Chicago is in pursuit of starting pitching and the pair can matchup well for a trade over the next few weeks. The Cubs are considering trading for left-handed starter Jon Niese, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, and the club might have infield pieces the Mets are intrigued by.
Although Rosenthal believes the Cubs might prefer a top of the rotation arm who has had a bit more success than Niese, the veteran lefty could prove to be a valuable addition to Chicago's rotation. Niese, 28, has posted a 4.12 ERA and 4.39 FIP over 83.0 innings and 14 starts. He posted a 3.40 ERA and 3.67 FIP in 187.2 innings with the Mets last season and has proven to be a consistent middle of the rotation option.
New York has a notable amount of starting pitching depth and crowded rotation with Steven Matz set to make his major league debut on Sunday. If the Mets are interested in dealing Niese, he might have to be included in a larger package, according to Rosenthal.
While Niese would give the Cubs the starting pitcher they are seeking, the Mets would likely be interested in infield prospect Javier Baez, who has seen time at shortstop in Triple-A. Baez has posted a .314/.386/.536 batting line to complement eight home runs and 29 RBIs in 37 games and the Cubs might not have a spot for him in the lineup because of Starlin Castro's role as the club's starting shortstop. Baez broke his thumb recently and has posted a high strikeout rate. As a result, the Cubs might be forced to lower their asking price.
Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer told Gordon Wittenmyer of The Chicago Sun Times a deal between the Mets and Cubs "will happen at some point" and that he plans to speak to New York again in the future. Even if it does not involve Niese, expect the Mets and Cubs will likely get a deal done in the coming weeks.