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Mets, Pirates swap Antonio Bastardo for Jon Niese

The team swapped lefties who are familiar to both clubs.

Philadelphia Phillies v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Mets and Pirates made an interesting deal late before the trade deadline, as New York re-acquired lefty Jon Niese from Pittsburgh in exchange for Antonio Bastardo. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports was first with the news.

The swap is especially unusual because both Niese and Bastardo will go back to their 2015 club after switching teams during the offseason. Niese was traded from the Mets to Pittsburgh in exchange for second baseman Neil Walker, and Bastardo left Pittsburgh to sign a 2-year deal with New York in free agency.

The Mets have been looking for rotation depth in the wake of injuries to Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz, and will add a familiar piece in Niese. Pittsburgh was known to be shopping both Niese and Jeff Locke in advance of today’s deadline.

Niese, 29, has posted a 4.91 ERA in 18 appearances (two starts) for Pittsburgh so far this season. He is a free agent after the season.

Bastardo, 30, has struggled to a 4.74 ERA in 41 appearances with New York after signing a 2-year, $12 million deal before the season. He is the second lefty addition to the Pirates’ bullpen this week, joining Felipe Rivero, who was acquired as part of the return for closer Mark Melancon from the Nationals.