The Jon Niese – Neil Walker swap hasn’t worked out so well for Pittsburgh, said Pirates GM Neil Huntington in some very frank comments on a local radio station Friday morning.
“In hindsight, maybe the two fringe prospects and trying to figure out where to re-allocate the money might have been a better return,” he told 93.7 The Fan, “That’s where the results take us.”
“Given the thinness of the starting pitching market, given the dollars that we had available, we felt that that was our best return, and it has not played out that way, and that’s a challenge, we own that, we accept that.”
“At the time Jon was one of the better starting pitchers available on the market given what we typically can do in this revenue stream, and that’s the reality.”
Niese has certainly failed to perform up to expectations this year. He owns a 5.13 ERA in 101.2 innings with the Pirates this year, a full run above his 4.13 ERA in 2015. His WHIP has ballooned to a career-high 1.574.
Niese is still owed about half of his $9 million salary and a $500,000 buyout at the end of the year. The Pirates are currently shopping him, according to reports, altough he probably doesn’t have much value left.