Pirates Trade Jon Niese to the Mets For Antonio Bastardo

The Pirates have traded left-handed pitcher Jon Niese back to the Mets, according to Jon Heyman.

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.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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I like this deal a lot as it gives us 3 power lefties in pen. The Liriano trade is a disaster though. It would have been fine if it was Liriano and Ramirez, but McGuire a big overpay just to shed salary.

NorCal Buc

McGuire can’t hit AAA pitching, and he is behind Diaz, and of course, Cervelli, on the depth chart


Just beyond stupid day. No support for TBMTIB today or for remaining year sorry NH has officially pissed me off.


So we traded Neil Walker for Antonio Bastardo….

NorCal Buc

uhhh, Neal Walker was long gone with free agency. He would NOT resign here.

brad c

This is nuts.


too surreal. like being trapped in a three stooges short feature


At the end of the day we traded Neal Walker and Mark Melancon for Bastardo, Rivero and Hearns. That NH is a genius!!


I never got the infatuation with walker. He’s batting .250 with a career low OPS despite 16 homeruns. Has no range at 2b and is aging.


Agree, although this is a pretty average OPS year (.761) for Walker. He had two very good seasons in the 800 range but the rest have all hovered around the 740 to 760 range. His lifetime OPS is .768 which is slitly above average for a 2B. He does have feet of stone …


Not Quite.
The day ends when we see how Rivero and Hearns turn out.

Scott K

Liriano to Jays. Kiss this season goodbye.


Are you high? And whatever you are smoking, can I have some?


As long as we didn’t have to pay too much money to the Blue Jays, I love this move too. Liriano has been terrible this year and we were on the hook to pay him $13 million next season.

dr dng

We gave up too much in prospects in my opinion.

Dan D

Love this move!

Dale O

I did when the players effectively took a nap in Milwaukee. Bring on 2017.


Joseph Willis

We just traded liriano


Do any of these trades make the Pirates better this year? No. Trading away Niese was fine, in that it should have created a spot for a young arm…but nope- that young arm will now be blocked by a garbage starter (Ivan Nova). So, the Pirates are not going to make the playoffs this year, and they aren’t giving their young guys time to develop in the big leagues to make a run with them next year. Makes a lot of sense. The Pirates keep sending Kuhl (I know he is banged up)/Brault/Glasnow back and forth, and running guys like Nova and Locke out there. They continue to send Jaso out there to bat lead off, and keep Bell down in AAA. The Pirates can’t believe they could compete this year- of they would have actually tried to improve this club. Instead, they made moves to continue to block young talent


Antonio Bastardo and Ivan Nova and we got to keep all of the 30-somethings? Should have just locked NH in a padded room. I would have considered any of these trades a success if the result was that we would unload some of the roadblocks keeping our PROSPECTS at AAA.

Maybe this off-season we can have another repeat of all the reasons why we could/should not bring up young guys until June, and then the trail of BS goes on from there – Groundhog Day. Bastardo was a dog last year, and we got him back. Nova I like more because I really know nothing about him except he is short-term at best.

joe s

Garbage in garbage out. That is all one can say about this and the trade deadline deals. Why are the pirates hiding who they gave up for Nova? Could it be they gave up the farm for 10 start rental?

Scott K

You’re joking right? You actually think NH gave up the farm for Nova?!!! He loves prospects more than any GM in baseball. He won’t trade them away for this guy!


Not so sure about that after the Toronto deal my friend

Scott Kliesen

Eating crow as I type. What a gut punch that was when McGuire was reported to be part of the deal. Ouch!

Thomas H


John Allen Habel III

Possibly someone from this draft. Can’t trade them till one year in the system

Joseph Willis

They changed that rule

dr dng

Ok, we get rid of a guy who did not want to be here and
did not want to be coached and we pick up a guy who
seemed to like it here, improved with coaching, and
might just fit in with the rest of the guys. We also get
some cash.

I’m ok with that. I think one of the problems that
may have is that there is just not all of the
good feelings in the locker room that we had the
past couple of years. Maybe this will help a little.

Darren G

Not sure why the Mets would want Niese back. As for the Buccos, this may turn out to be a decent move as far as building next year’s pen.


We couldn’t stand to pay Melancon $9.65 million for one year, but $8.3 million for one year and two months of Bastardo is a bargain??


Yep!! And we have him next season plus 5 years of Rivero!! 🙂

Joseph Willis

Minus the 3.6 we still owed Niese, and pirates got cash in this deal too


Certainly makes it look a little bit better if we’re the ones getting some cash in this deal. But I would be shocked if Bastardo is on the opening day roster in 2017. He’ll get dealt over the winter.


Why? If Watson is going to be the closer then you have Rivero and Bastardo as your two lefties you can use at any time. If anything in terms of next year’s bullpen, I’m thinking this means they let Feliz walk as his price will likely be high and they try to sign Nicasio to a 2-3 year deal to keep a hard throwing right in the mix for slightly less money.


Niese came in and would not listen to the coaching staff to change his arm slot and thus did not improve. Had to let him go, hope they can get Basto to get back on track.


Absolutely agree. Niese had lots of potential here, but his ego got in the way, and will send him back to the most talented rotation in baseball, where he will be lucky to get the 5th spot in that rotation. I like this deal.

michael t

Did it occur to you guys that Niese might be right, the Pirates forced him to pitch their way and screwed him up. He was pretty outspoken that they had him more worried about mechanics than getting people out.


When I think of guys like Burnett (twice), Liriano, Volquez, Melancon, Bastardo, and Happ…no. There wasn’t much tinkering needed for Niese since he already had one of the higher ground ball rates in the MLB with the Mets, which played right into the Pirates philosophy. Instead of making minor adjustments to improve his mechanics, he is now a leader in HRs give up.


So the only reason that the Mets were willing to take Niese off our hands was because they could dump Bastardo. This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever for the Pirates. Bastardo is under contract next season for $6.5 million, and has been awful this year. It would have been better to just DFA Niese, at least they would only have been on the hook for the $500K option buyout


Are you kidding me? They traded him and youre bitching! Do the world a favor and shut up.


I wasn’t aware that the Mets are paying some money as part of the deal, so it probably works. Believe me, no one wanted to see Niese gone more than I did. But I’m very leery these days of the whole we can fix this pitcher thing, because I haven’t seen them succeed on any projects this year.

William S

Feliz has been pretty good. Vogelsong was doing better than his previous year before taking one in the face. Niese being terrible shouldn’t take away from those two.

Bobby L

This is much better than the Nova deal.
Got Bastardo for another year too.
Only question is how many LH relievers can fit in the pen?


there has to more players involved.

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