The Mets will decline the $10 million 2017 option on left-hander Jon Niese, Jon Heyman reports. The Mets traded Niese to the Pirates for Neil Walker last December, but after Niese struggled to a 4.91 ERA in Pittsburgh, the Pirates flipped him back to the Mets for left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo, who had played in Pittsburgh in 2015 but signed with the Mets after that season.
Niese was even worse in his return to the Mets, as he allowed 14 earned runs in 11 innings between the bullpen and rotation before a torn meniscus in his knee ended his season. When the Mets signed Niese to a five-year-deal in April of 2012, it seemed possible his $10 million option for 2017 could be a bargain. Despite three straight seasons of sub-4.00 ERAs from 2012 to 2014, Niese never broke out. His fastball is now down about one mile per hour from that three-year peak, per Fangraphs.