Everyone knows the New York Mets have a surplus of starting pitchers, but no one knew when they would use that to bolster their offense. Well they did just that on Wednesday when they traded Jon Niese to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Neil Walker. The Mets also made another smart move late Wednesday night when they signed Asdrubal Cabrera to a two-year, $18.5 million dollar deal.
Trading Niese for Walker is clearly a win-win for both sides. The Mets got an impact bat and a second baseman in the form of Walker, and the Pirates got a solid veteran lefty in the form of Jon Niese. Not to knock on Niese, but his time in the Mets rotation was coming to an end with all of the young studs coming up from the minors.
However, acquiring Walker ultimately means the end of Daniel Murphy‘s tenure with the Amazins. He wasn’t the best defender, he continuously played out of position at second, he never really hit for power, but he did know how to hit the baseball. He elevated his play in the postseason to astronomical heights. He became the only player in postseason history to homer in six consecutive games, breaking Carlos Beltran‘s record set in 2004 with the Houston Astros.
Signing Asdrubal Cabrera is a great signing to help bolster their infield. An infield of Lucas Duda at first, Walker at second, Cabrera at short, and David Wright at third is a pretty sound, defensive infield. While also mixing and matching with Ruben Tejada, Wilmer Flores, and Kelly Johnson, if they choose to re-sign him.
There have been reports floating around that the Mets and free agent Bartolo Colon have mutual interest in a return. This comes after the trade of Jon Niese. I recently wrote an article preaching that the Mets would be wise to re-sign Bartolo. Now that Niese is gone, there is more of a need for a fifth starter than there ever was. With Rafael Montero still rehabbing his inflamed rotator cuff, and Zack Wheeler recovering from Tommy John surgery, there is no other clear fifth starter than Colon.
Going into the Winter Meetings, the Mets were expected to lose Yoenis Cespedes and Daniel Murphy. As such, they were losing two big pieces of their offense. They played it smart and didn’t panic after they lost out on the Ben Zobrist sweepstakes. They used their strength to fix a major weakness. Plus they bolstered a major part of their game that needed improvements. I feel like since they missed out on Zobrist, they should consider re-signing Cespedes. Regardless, the Mets started off their offseason in the right direction.