The Mets re-acquired Jon Niese from the Pirates in exchange for LH reliever Antonio Bastardo, Sandy Alderson announced to reporters just after Monday's 4 pm non-waiver trade deadline.
Sandy Alderson said Niese will work out of the bullpen.
Niese, who was dealt to the Pirates from the Mets for Neil Walker last the offseason, had a 4.91 ERA in 23 games (18 starts) this season. He was recently moved to the bullpen by the Pirates.
Pirates GM Neal Huntington recently told a local radio stattion that, 'in hindsight,' he wishes he had acquired prospects for Walker instead of Niese.
I actually forgot Bastardo was on the team, so I'm certainly not going to miss him. That said, the he Mets needed to add a reliever. Instead, they trade one away for a starting pitcher who they're going to use as a reliever. And that's not even why this trade is most awkward...
When the Mets traded Niese to the Pirates, he quickly made some disparaging comments about his former team's fielding. And now he has to suit up in front of them again.
Terry Collins said he will have a conversation with Niese about his previous comments, since, "There's still some guys who were here who were here last year." That said, Collins praised Niese's repertoire and ability to pitch in relief.
The thing is, Jon is not having a very good season. He's thrown 110 innings for the Pirates, with most of his struggles coming from the home run. If he can get himself correct, he can help the back-end of the rotation and move to the bullpen again, like he did at the end of last season.
In either case, it's not the worst acquisition, because he's pitched well here and knows the market. Also, he's physically capable of being a reliever, and certainly can give them extra innings when needed, because he's technically a starting pitcher. The thing is, the Mets may need more than he's capable of giving them...