Welcome Back Jon Niese . . . No Seriously
There were very limited circumstances upon which the New York Mets could bring back Jon Niese, and Mets fans would universally accept the deal. Sandy Alderson showed off his GM chops, and he found a way by acquiring Niese in exchange for Antonio Bastardo.
Bastardo was an absolutely terrible acquisition by the Mets in the offseason. With the Mets, he had a 4.74 ERA and a 1.420 WHIP, and he probably wasn’t even that good. What is most shocking is the fact that he didn’t record one loss with the Mets. Conversely, it should be a surprise to no one that Bastardo had no wins with the Mets. It is quite fitting that Bastardo’s lasting image with the Mets was allowing Carlos Gonzalez hit a ball to the Shea Bridge.
In Niese, the Mets actually get an interesting bullpen piece. Yes, the Mets will utilize him out of the bullpen. Niese was great for the Mets out of the bullpen in the postseason last year, and he was good for the Pirates in the bullpen in a limited sample size this year. Overall, there is a real reason to believe Niese could be a very valuable piece out of the bullpen. Given the fact that he was traded for a player who was absolutely terrible, this was a no brainer for the Mets.
On a side note, this is a good deal as well as Niese has a $500,000 buyout after the year is over whereas Bastardo was slated to receive $6,625,000. That means the Mets will have approximately $6.1 million for next season to dedicate any number of places including but not limited to Yoenis Cespedes who will most likely opt out of his contract at the end of the season.
Even better for the Mets, they get some measure of revenge against Niese. For a player that complained about the Mets defense, Sandy Alderson has handed him a defensive outfield of a hobbled Yoenis Cespedes in left, a miscast Curtis Granderson in center, and a declining defensively Jay Bruce. The lesson as always is to never bad mouth Sandy Alderson or his roster.
The only question remaining with Niese is where he is going to live as Neil Walker is living in his apartment. Wherever he resides, he is going to be an improvement over Bastardo, so with that, Welcome Back Jon Niese.