Wednesday was eventful day for the New York Mets as the team had basically signed its infield for the 2015 season. It kicked off its day by making a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates, by trading Jon Niese to the Bucs for second baseman and Pittsburgh fan favorite Neil Walker. I said in my earlier article, that Jon Niese was not going to get a good return in a trade; however, I did not factor in the human element in said trade talks. What do I mean by that, well simply put, I believe the Mets won this trade in a big way. Let's look at my favorite facts, statistics, numbers don't lie much in baseball.
I'm not giving you any sabermetric stuff here, don't worry. Walker in 2015 batted .269 was 16 home runs and 71 RBI albeit on a very good offensive team and ballpark. John Niese over the past several years has shown signs of decline, over the last two seasons be seen that Niese, when things aren't going his way, tends to throw a temper tantrum every once in a while it during a game. After said temper tantrum his game continues to decline that evening. In a comment to the trade, John Niese basically said he's looking forward to the better defense behind him, ironically the Mets upgrading their defense up the middle of the infield by signing Asdrubal Cabrera after these comments.
Going back to Walker and what he brings to New York, Walker is a workhorse, who has played no less then 129 games in a season at which he started on opening day. He's got identical power to Daniel Murphy however in 2014 he hit 23 home runs with 76 RBI winning the National League second base Silver Slugger award. Walker is a miracle baby from a certain point of view, the story about his father and Roberto Clemente is legendary and is the reason why he was adored by Pirates fans, they believe he was basically a gift from Clemente himself. On December 31st 1972 the plane Clemente and four other men where on, exploded just after take off on route to Nicaragua.
Neil Walker's father, former Expo, Cardinal, and Tigers pitcher, Tom Walker, was very motivated to accompany Roberto on his trip, when Clemente told Walker "You need to go back and enjoy the evening. Go home. Go enjoy New Year's Eve." Words to this day neither Neil or his father have or should ever forget. Neil Walker is not perfect at fielding the position. He comitted seven errors in 2015 in 146 games at second base, Daniel Murphy commited six in 62 games. Walker is not flashy but plain and simple, Neil Walker gets the job done and will continue to do so in Flushing for the New York Mets.