The New York Mets have reached a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates to acquire second baseman Neil Walker, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports on Twitter. The deal is pending a physical and “small other matters” says Sherman.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 9, 2015
The Pirates will be receiving Mets pitcher Jon Niese in return for the 2014 Silver Slugger award winner. This deal helps out both teams, as the Mets needed to fill the void for free-agent departure, Daniel Murphy and the Pirates needed a middle of the rotation starter to compliment the likes of Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano. Walker who was the 2014 Silver Slugger award winner for the National League hit .269/.328/.427 with 16 home runs and 71 runs batted in for the Bucs in 2015. Walker is the perfect replacement for Murphy. He can hit the long ball and drive in runs, a little better than what Murphy did for New York. Walker is also an excellent fielder, posting a .989 fielding percentage at second base this past season.
This is a deal that needed to be done for the Mets, who are begging for offensive help, because of the loss of Murphy and slugger, Yoenis Cespedes. The Bucs get a solid pitcher in return in Niese, who holds a career ERA of 3.91 and a 61-61 record. He will not blow you away with the fastball, sitting at 89, 90 MPH, but he does know how to bear down and get the big out when needed. Niese is signed through the 2016 season with team options for the next two seasons.