Yesterday afternoon, the Mets made a shocking move right before the trade deadline when they traded left-handed relief pitcher Antonio Bastardo to Pittsburgh in exchange for Jonathan Niese, another lefty who pitched for New York from 2008 through 2015.
The fun part of the deal was that the Mets had just sent Niese packing last December in the same move that fetched Neil Walker from the Pirates. Although Niese has provided plenty of value during his tenure in New York, he was pretty lousy last year with a 4.13 ERA and 4.41 FIP in 176.2 innings. In 2016 with Pittsburgh, the southpaw has been even worse.
Here are some reactions to the surprising trade from both New York and Pittsburgh publications.
- The Post thinks that Niese has some apologizing to do after passively disrespecting the Mets’ defense on his way out the door in December.
- The Daily News recounts more of the negative comments Niese has made about the Mets. At least he probably won’t be part of a six-man rotation again.
- Anthony DiComo says that the Mets were attracted to the reunion because of Niese’s versatility. He will start out as the second lefty in the bullpen, but could join the rotation if injury woes persist.
- Faith and Fear in Flushing isn’t pleased with the southpaw’s return.
- Mets 360 thinks that Niese can improve if he throws his curveball a little more often.
- Bucs Dugout is just happy to get a functional baseball player in return for Niese. I think I can say the same thing about Bastardo.
- Rum Bunter (great blog name) is optimistic from the Pittsburgh perspective because Bastardo was effective for the Pirates last season.
- Rising Apple takes a deep breath and reminds us that Niese was productive once he joined Pittsburgh’s bullpen in July.
- Craig Calcaterra says it feels like New York and Pittsburgh are two teams that are running in place.