NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Did Jon Niese take a parting shot at the Mets?
Maybe, maybe not. It sure sounds like it.
The left-handed starter, who was traded by the Amazins for Neil Walker on Wednesday, said that what excites him the most about joining the Pirates is Pittsburgh’s excellent defense.
“I’m sure what I’ll appreciate more than anything is the way they play defense,” Niese told reporters. “I’m looking forward to that.”
The Mets’ middle-infield duo of Daniel Murphy and Wilmer Flores/Ruben Tejada has been iffy at best over the years. There has been some trouble turning double plays, and that has unquestionably cost Niese runs.
And the 29-year-old has never been shy about showing his displeasure on the mound.
Niese was projected to be the Mets’ fifth starter in 2016. But Zack Wheeler likely would have taken his spot in the summer, when he’s expected to return to the rotation following Tommy John surgery.
The Mets reportedly have interest in re-signing Bartolo Colon to be the fifth starter and long reliever.
Niese debuted with the Mets in 2008. He went 9-10 with a 4.13 ERA in 2015, striking out 113 and walking 55 in 176 2/3 innings.
Walker, who will now becomes the Mets’ starting second baseman, hit .269 with 16 home runs and 71 RBIs for the Pirates in 2015.