The Pirates have traded left-handed pitcher Jon Niese back to the Mets, according to Jon Heyman.
jon niese goes back to mets in deal
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 1, 2016
And if that’s not funny enough, the Pirates confirmed the move, saying they got Antonio Bastardo from the Mets.
Bastardo was signed for two years and $12 M last off-season by the Mets. He’s owed $6.5 M in 2017, and the remainder of his $5.2 M for this season. The Pirates will owe about $1.8 M of that salary, putting their total at about $8.3 M for one year and two months of Bastardo. The downside to this is that Bastardo has struggled this year, with a 4.74 ERA and a 4.72 xFIP. His issue has been with home runs, with a 14.8% HR/FB ratio (it’s been 5.1-5.6% the previous two years, and 8% in his career).
If the Pirates can get Bastardo back on track, then this would be a huge deal. Niese wasn’t helping them, and Bastardo could be much better out of the bullpen. The Pirates shed about $3.1 M from Niese’s salary, plus his $500,000 buyout in 2017.
The Pirates also acquired cash considerations, so it’s possible that the amount could help even out the deal in terms of money. Otherwise, the Pirates are taking on about $5 M in salary in the deal.