NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Mets and Pirates have agreed to a trade that will send second baseman Neil Walker to New York in exchange for lefty Jonathan Niese, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The deal is pending medical review and other small matters.
The move fills needs for both clubs, as the Mets will add infield depth after the departure of Daniel Murphy and the Pirates will lengthen a rotation that lost both J.A. Happ and A.J. Burnett following the season.
Walker, 30, will start at second base for the Mets, who aggressively pursued Ben Zobrist before he signed with the Cubs on Tuesday. Walker also drew significant interest from the Angels, Orioles and other clubs after being made available by Pittsburgh.
Walker hit .269 with 16 home runs for Pittsburgh last season, and has spent his entire major-league career with the Pirates. He will hit free agency after next season.
Niese, 29, was made expendable due to the emergence of young starters Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz for the Mets. The left-hander will join Gerrit Cole, Francisco Liriano, Charlie Morton and Jeff Locke, meaning that Pittsburgh is likely to have three lefties in its rotation this year.
Niese has spent all eight of his major-league seasons with the Mets, posting a 3.91 ERA in that time. He is controllable through the 2018 season as the result of two team options.