With the Winter Meetings going on in Nashville Tennessee, there has been a flurry of baseball moves that have been made over the last 72 hours.
The New York Mets were busy on Wednesday as they shipped starting pitcher Jonathon Niese over to Pittsburgh in exchange for second baseman Neil Walker.
Walker seemed to be the ideal Plan B player the Mets were looking for after it became public that veteran infielder Ben Zobrist was going to re-unite with old manager Joe Madden. In fact, some might go along with the fact that Walker might be a better fit in New York based on his age and salary.
Going into the offseason for the Mets, it became clear that they were going to have to part ways with one of their starters. While Matt Harvey seemed the most likely to be departed given his trade value and promising future. Jonathon Niese appeared as the next best option. Niese was slightly below par with his career totals last year, finishing with a 9-10 record alongside a 4.13 ERA. He upholds a career .500 record and will administer depth for the Pirates pitching staff.
In return, the Mets will receiver Walker who batted .269 last year with 16 home runs while in the process knocked in 79 runs. He presents a good presence in the clubhouse, that has taken shape by being in the midst of competitive Pirates’ teams over the years. If the Mets aren’t able to preserve the needs of Daniel Murphy, who was the everyday second basemen this year. This won’t suggest any slight drop-off as Walker should provide even more stability at this position. More so on the defensive end, where Murphy at times revealed his true deficiencies in the field. Other than an abnormal spark in this year’s postseason, what New York is getting from Neil Walker at the plate will be more consistent.
The next move was when the Mets added Asdrubal Cabrera to a 2 year, $18.5 million dollar deal. This led to many in belief that there will be a corresponding departure with one of the Mets’ middle infielders, presumably either Wilmer Flores or Daniel Murphy.
Only time will tell what move will happen next, however this is a good get for New York. Personally, I have always appreciated players who came up with the Cleveland Indians. They all appear to acquire valuable work ethic and play with an edge that you love whenever it takes place on your team. To lastly reiterate, Walker will add infield depth and will provide the chance to supply some versatility to the Mets infield in a case where David Wright isn’t healthy to play as often as he did before his back injury at third.
The roster is still a long ways away from being finalized before the first game of spring trying, but here is how the Mets’ roster will likely be constructed if it likely will be constructed the Mets lineup if Opening day was tomorrow.
This goes without saying, if the Mets re-sign Cespedes or another big bat to play center field it changes everything again. With the current lineup, this would provide more pop, with again versatility of where players will bat.