Niese Traded To Pirates For Walker

Just as the Mets quickly rebounded by getting Yoenis Cespedes when the Carlos Gomez trade fell through, they did it again as they have traded for Pirates second baseman Neil Walker the day after losing Ben Zobrist to the Cubs.

WALKER: Newest Met. (Getty)

WALKER: Newest Met. (Getty)

All it cost is Jon Niese, who wasn’t in their plans in the first place. I wrote last night I wasn’t all that broken up about Zobrist falling through because he was too pricey and there were other options. Zobrist’s 162-game averages are .265 with 17 homers and 77 RBI, while Walker hit .269 with 16 homers and 71 RBI last year. The difference is one hot weekend.

Niese was to make $9 million this year, which is the projected arbitration award for Walker.

Walker doesn’t play the outfield corners like Zobrist, but like him is a switch-hitter and is four years younger. However, with Zobrist they would have him locked up for four years. Walker could only turn out to be a rental as he’ll be a free agent after this season. That could mean the Mets could be going through this again next winter if Dilson Herrara doesn’t show them anything this year.

As for Niese, 29, he was being phased out because of the Mets’ young core of arms. Niese was projected to be in the rotation until Zack Wheeler comes off the disabled list, but are now expected to go with Rafael Montero. The trade of Niese could also spur the Mets to re-sign Bartolo Colon.


6 thoughts on “Niese Traded To Pirates For Walker

  1. Happy to admit I was wrong – they pivoted to a decent second option. Walker’s lack of performance from the right side of the plate allows Herrera to show us what he has before a decision has to be made. The salary off-set is maybe $1 million, and they should be able to re-allocate what they planned on paying Zobrist. I liked Niese – but this trade was a no-brainer.

    Now it’s on to the bullpen and a lefty-hitting center fielder. While we’ve seen tons of commentary on adding a shortstop, they’re in short supply. Still looks like we’re trotting out Flores & Tejada.

  2. Mooney: I like this much better because of economics and that he’s four years younger. Plus, it gives them another year to check out Herrera. The down side for me is Walker will be a FA after 2016. No worries if Herrera develops into something. If he doesn’t, Mets will be in 2B market again next winter. … Personally, I think Flores at shortstop isn’t all that bad. … I don’t care about a lefty hitting CF, just a CF. That they feel the need to platoon with Lagares after signing him to a long-term deal tells me they aren’t happy with Lagares.-JD

    • I hate Wilmer at short.

      He flat out sucks.

      He is not the hitter that will make you forget the daily almost every inning shortcomings at one of the games pivotal defensive positions.

  3. My concern – more than a few points on a batting average, is just how good a fielder is this guy? I have no idea. Odds are he’s better than Murphy. I hope the new pickup for SS will also bring a glove with him.

    Question: with the addition of these 2 guys we are now overstocked at middle infield positions. What do we do when David Wright’s back freezes up?

    • Walker is better than Murphy in the field, but he’s certainly not a gold glove out there. Walker was simply more appealing because of cost and long term commitment. They only committed roughly $2 million in “new” money to acquire him.

      As for the defense, they’re stacked at MI. But according to the writers I’ve followed, Cabrera can play third in a temp role if needed, plus Flores has experience there. We know Wright is only good for maybe 125 games. So they’re going to have to hone in on a long-term option in Spring Training should the situation call for it.

  4. What I read of the new middle infield guys is they are more solid but not spectacular players.

    The pitchers deserve not to have hacks up the middle.

    Seems like small serviceable steps to improve the team.