NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — According to multiple reports, the Mets have agreed to send pitcher Jon Niese to the Pirates for second baseman Neil Walker.
The Mets missed out on Ben Zobrist, who signed a four-year, $56 million deal with the Cubs on Tuesday night. Daniel Murphy — who declined the Mets’ qualifying offer — remained an option, but it seemed unlikely that he would re-sign with the Amazins. This deal essentially concludes his career in Flushing.
Niese, a 29-year-old lefty, was projected to start the season as the Mets’ fifth starter. But Zack Wheeler is projected to return to the rotation in the summer, and there remains a possibility that Bartolo Colon will be retained.
Niese is owed $9 million in 2016. The Mets had $10 million and $11 million options on him for 2017 and 2018, respectively. He went 9-10 with a 4.13 ERA in 33 games (29 starts) for the Mets in 2015.
Walker, 30, will only be under team control for one more season. He hit .269 with 16 home runs and 71 RBIs in 151 games for the Pirates in 2015.