Did Niese take a jab at the Mets defense after being traded?
On Wednesday, the New York Mets acquired Neil Walker from the Pirates in exchange for lefty starter Jon Niese.
The trade seems to benefit both teams; the Mets need an everyday second baseman and Walker can also play third base if David Wright needs a day off. The Pirates gained a pitcher after losing A.J. Burnett and J.A. Happ.
Following the trade, Niese had a curious quote while talking up the Pirates defense:
Sure, he was praising the Pirates, but it also came off as a jab against the Mets defense, right?
Jon Niese: “I’m sure what I’ll appreciate more than anything is the way (#Pirates) play defense. I’m looking forward to that.”
— Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) December 10, 2015
The Mets’ fielding percentage last season was .986 while the Pirates owned a .981, but to be fair, Niese seemed to suggest he preferred the style of defense the Pirates play.
Regardless, the Pirates defense will have their share of opportunities to make plays, as Niese struck out just 5.8 hitters per nine innings.