Jon Niese's Contract Option Declined by Mets: Latest Comments, Reaction

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2016

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 10: Pitcher Jon Niese #49 delivers a pitch against the Colorado Rockies on August 10, 2015 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The New York Mets have reportedly declined the option of Jonathon Niese, ending the player's second stint with the franchise, per Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball and Matt Ehalt of the Record.

New York will pay a buyout worth $500,000, and Niese will be a free agent.

The Mets traded the left-handed pitcher to the Pittsburgh Pirates last offseason for Neil Walker, a move Pirates general manager Neal Huntington admitted he regretted. He was then sent back to New York for Antonio Bastardo.

Unfortunately, he struggled in both locations, posting a 4.93 ERA in Pittsburgh before allowing 14 earned runs in 11 innings with the Mets.

It was altogether the worst full year of his career, ending with a 5.50 ERA with an FIP of 5.62, per Baseball-Reference.com.

While the 30-year-old pitcher has had better days in the past, including a 13-win season in 2012 when he posted a 3.40 ERA, he clearly wasn't worth the $10 million it would have cost to keep him on the roster.

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Niese is now a free agent and will hope to take advantage of a light pitching market around the league. He has been a quality starter in the past, posting a 4.07 career ERA in 211 appearances (197 starts) with a 69-68 record.

If given a chance, he can provide depth to a team's rotation or a long reliever out of the bullpen.