Hours after swinging and missing on the Ben Zobrist sweepstakes, the Mets completed a trade with the Pirates for Neil Walker on Wednesday. The Amazin’s sent left-handed veteran Jon Niese to the Steel City in exchange for Pittsburgh’s switch-hitting second baseman.
The move all but assures that free agent Daniel Murphy will be playing elsewhere next year. Murphy carried the Mets through the NLDS and NLCS with his bat, but his shoddy fielding reared its ugly head in Games 4 and 5 of the Fall Classic.
Walker hit .269 with 16 home runs and 71 RBI in 151 games and provides a significant upgrade in the field over Murphy. Meanwhile, Niese tallied a record of 9-10 with a 4.13 ERA in 33 games last year including 29 starts.
Walker is in the final year of his contract and for the first time will leave his hometown and the organization that drafted him No .11 overall back in 2004.