The Pittsburgh Pirates have traded Jon Niese back to the New York Mets for Antonio Bastardo
In a move that was released right after the MLB Trade Deadline passed, the Pittsburgh Pirates have reacquired LHP Antonio Bastardo by returning Jon Niese to the New York Mets.
Stephen Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the news
This is not a joke. The Pirates have traded Jon Niese for Antonio Bastardo.
— Stephen J. Nesbitt (@stephenjnesbitt) August 1, 2016
Thus ends a tumultuous time in Pittsburgh for Niese. Initially brought in to be a ground ball-heavy pitcher, Niese has struggled mightily with the Pittsburgh Pirates, particularly in keeping the ball in the ballpark. Niese allowed a team high 21 home runs in 110 innings pitched.
This season with the Pirates, Niese compiled a 8-6 record with a 4.91 ERA in 23 appearances (18 starts). Niese will likely be used in a bullpen role in New York, but could also serve as rotation depth for the reigning National League champions.
Antonio Bastardo returns, and will now be under team control through 2017. At 2-years, $12 million, Bastardo represents a $4 million dollar savings on what the Pittsburgh Pirates would have paid Niese should they have picked up his option (unlikely).
This season, Bastardo has posted a 4.74 ERA in 41 appearances and has 46 strikeouts in 43.2 innings. Bastardo played a huge role within the Pirates bullpen in 2015, posting a 4-1 record with a 2.98 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 66 appearances.