FLASH: Mets Trade LHSP Jon Niese to Pittsburgh for 2B Neil Walker


The Mets have agreed to trade LHSP Jon Niese for Pirates 2B Neil Walker.

The 30 year old switch hitting Walker actually had a slightly down season in 2015 for the Pirates hitting for a .269 AVG with 16 HR, 71 RBI and a .756 OPS. His numbers were still good enough to be 7% better than the league average 2B. Walker is arbitration eligible for the 3rd and final time this off-season and is projected to earn $10.7M via arbitration.

The difference between Niese's salary in 2016 and Walker's forecasted salary will only add about $1.7m to the payroll. This gives the Mets flexibility to, A) spend the remaining $12m of the $14m they would have spent on Zobrist to improve the team elsewhere, as well as, B) opens up the #5 SP slot in the rotation for competition between a number of candidates until Zack Wheeler assumes the role in June.


bob gregory said...

Bigger needs.

Mack Ade said...

Good move, especially if the Mets want to platoon him with Flores on 2B... excellent splits match up from these guys

Reese Kaplan said...

I don't see that. Flores could evolve into the super sub role or return to starting at SS. The fact you gained a Murphy type with a little more power, a little less average for a lot less money and offset the salary by trading Niese makes this a good deal in my book.

Now, if you're going to spend some real money, look at the pen and an improvement in the OF.

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

Well, if I'm wrong, you keep Flores at SS and split time at 2B between Walker and Herrera. Still an improved infield both offensively and defensively.

Welcome home.

bob gregory said...

And 1st base!

Mack Ade said...

Bob -

Maybe 'bigger needs' but you now still have the money to accomplish that.

Lew Rhodes said...

I kinda like this deal

I like Walker - he also gives us a back-up at 3b - he came up through the minors as 3b

I like that we got Walker for a small increase in salary

This gives $10 million in flexibility for out field / bullpen.

Also, Walker will be a FA at the end of next season - as long as Herrera continues to improve, we will net a first round pick for him.

Lastly, this should show that the FO is still in the win in the short term without killing the future. They could have handed 2b to the unproven Herrera, but instead got a solid replacement to give us a proven guy for next year's team

Lew Rhodes said...

I wonder if we could get Desmond on a one year "prove it" contract

Turn Wilmer into super sub and let Herrera hit .500 in AAA until Wright invariably goes on the DL to rest his back

Clyde McNell Jr. said...

Why platoon with a switch hitter

Mack Ade said...

Clyde -

Just because of what the splits say, that's all.

Christopher Soto said...


Not only will we net a 1st round pick for Murphy.....but if Walker does well in 2016, he is going to be the top 2B free agent in next year's Free Agent class.

That could mean another first round pick next year too if the Mets give him a Qualifying Offer.

Mack Ade said...

Lew -

My guess is the Mets will move on to the outfield and relief pitching now.

eraff said...

I've always liked Walker----professional ballplayer---decent Bat as a LH. For one year, I believce his game is an overall upgrade versus Murphy. This is a good baseball move.

Bob Sugar said...

I like Desmond but Mets will likely stay away as we would have to give up our 1st pick to sign him. Desmond was given a qualifier

Mack Ade said...

Granderson RF
Walker 2B
Conforto LF
Duda 1B
Wright 3B
d'Arnaud C
Flores SS
Lagares CF

bob gregory said...

Conforto as #3 hitter....gutsy/risky

Duda as # 4..... not good

Bob Sugar said...

I don't know bout you guys but that lineup is not that imposing. Duda, Wright, d'Arnaud- I don't think can carry a ball club. Minus Cespedes there is a big difference

Thomas Brennan said...

I like the deal a lot. Asked my brother, he said he was happy to see Nurse go,as he had too much "Pelfrey" in him, meaning not a winner. Lee's points on the first round comp picks was excellent. I like it, and like Mack says, fix OF and pen now.

Put Cespedes on speed dial.

Ernest Dove said...

I will choose to trust Mets decision making on this. Herrera, for better or worse development wise, can easily stay in vegas for the year. And mets obviously didn't wanna commit multiple years to murph or anyone else at 2B

Zozo said...

I love this move, great job Sandy. Now get me Heyward and/or Cespedes.
Wright can take off 3 days a week and Herrera can play second on those days, resign Johnson or Uribe and we have our middle infield set. Unless we trade Harvey for that package from the Dodgers?

Anonymous said...

Its only money, and its not my money!
But id or I hope the Mets offer,
Cespedes a 1 time offer of 4years 100 million
If he declines go to Upton and make the same offer
After 2 years Grandy will be gone and Cespedes could shuffle over there, and within the 4 years Becerra will be ready to man RF

Christopher Soto said...

Mets sign astrubal Cabrera to a 2yr deal with a club option for a 3 rd year

bob gregory said...

2 middle infielders....
Yet not even a rumor about acquiring a 3rd or 4th place hitter.

This is just so weird.

Christopher Soto said...

2 yr $16.5M deal (8.25m per season)

3rd yr option has a buyout of 2M

Thomas Brennan said...

Extreme Makeover, Mets Edition. First Episode yesterday with Walker/ Cabrera. What will Episode #2 bring? Don't change that channel.

Gary Seagren said...

Look I like the Walker/Cabrera moves but don't love em. We're still playing like a small market team here and I really think the Wilpons will forever play the Madoff card. Anyone with draft pick compensation is out but if YO signs a 5/100 deal elsewhere we should ALL scream from the rooftops. Span would seems to be a nice addition but I read the Mets think 2 yrs is too much... Wow. Today on Metsblog they reported the Mets looked into RHRP Sipp but didn't engage ...why not? Mack seeing the package the Braves got for Shelby Miller what do you think Harvey is worth next season in a down year for free agent for starters and would you have traded him for that package?

Mack Ade said...

Gary -

More to come

Mack Ade said...

Gary -

The Shelby Miller trade was insanely good for the Braves but only because they are trying to build a future through controllable prospects. Miller wouldn't be an SP4 on the Mets.

As for Harvey, the Mets know he will be worth much more by the end of next year... at least three ++ players

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