Taken by the Mets in the seventh round of the 2005 draft, Niese made his major league debut in 2008 and made a few starts in 2009 before becoming a regular in 2010. He stuck in the Mets’ rotation for a few years from that point and put together his best season in 2012 with a 3.40 ERA and 112 ERA+ in 190.1 innings. He matched that 3.40 ERA in 2014 over the course of 187.2 innings, but that performance wasn’t as good compared to his peers, as he had just a 101 ERA+. By that metric, those were the only two above-average seasons that Niese had in the big leagues.
After signing him to a pretty team-friendly extension, the Mets retained Niese through the 2015 season and traded him to the Pirates for second baseman Neil Walker shortly after the season ended. They re-acquired him at the trade deadline in 2016, sending Antonio Bastardo—who had been a Pirate but signed with the Mets in the 2015-16 offseason—to Pittsburgh in the process.
In total, Niese has a 4.07 ERA, 4.02 FIP, and a 93 ERA+ over 197 starts and 14 relief appearances in his major league career.