I told you to relax, fellow Mets fans. The Mets turned Jonathan Niese and a failed signing of Ben Zobrist into Neil Walker. Walker is a solid switch hitting second baseman, who brings a more stable, solid glove, along with some pop from both sides of the plate.
I, honestly, will not miss Niese at all. He has never lived up to the hype or the contract in my opinion, and while serviceable for most of his tenure with the Mets, he never had the killer instinct on the mound. In fact, it was quite the opposite. In moments when the big out had to be made, you knew the long ball was coming and then his head would drop, shoulders would droop and the implosion wouldn’t be far behind.
Neil Walker, on the other hand, is the perfect fit for this team. He has some history at other positions in case of emergency, but solidifies the position giving Herrera another year to continue his development as the second baseman of the future for the Mets, all the while letting some other club overpay for the services of Daniel Murphy, who is far from serviceable in the field or on the base paths.
Walker, who just turned 30 in September, is a .272 career hitter with a .338 on-base percentage and has 162 game averages of 18 homers and 81 RBI. While he may not walk a ton, he also doesn’t strike out often, usually putting the ball in play. For those into advanced new age stats, last year he had a 2.4 WAR and in his 7 seasons has a WAR of 16.4. Pretty impressive compared to Murphy who last season had a WAR of 1.2, and 12.5 in his 7 seasons. To continue with the comparisons, Zobrist had a 1.2 WAR last season, a 0.7 the season prior, and in his 10 year career has a WAR of 38.5.
So am I happy with the Plan B acquisition of Neil Walker? Absofreakinlutley! And with Niese and Walker’s salaries basically being a wash, this should be the first of a few more moves to come for the Amazin’s.