After an up-and-down 2015 season that saw him struggle with the Mets, get traded to the Angels only to return to New York and contribute down the stretch, Kirk Nieuwenhuis is headed to the Brewers on a waiver claim.
It was a roller coaster season for Nieuwenhuis, as the Mets versatile outfielder went just 3-for-38 with 17 strikeouts to start the season prior to being traded to Anaheim.
Nieuwenhuis was able to contribute a bit once he was re-acquired by the Mets early in the summer, as he became the first player in franchise history to homer three times in a single home game, as well as delivering a clutch, pinch-hit, game-winning home run against the Nationals in September.
With the signing of outfielder Alejandro De Aza, however, there really isn’t a place for Kirk on this roster, as the Mets now have their left-handed hitting platoon outfielder.
De Aza’s ability to play center field on a consistent basis is still in doubt, as he started just one game in center this past season, so the only true center fielder on the Mets roster right now is Juan Lagares.
If necessary, Curtis Granderson can play the position as well, but only occasionally.
Overall, Nieuwenhuis hit .235/.309/.389 with 38 doubles, 17 home runs, 71 RBI, 83 runs scored, 12 stolen bases and a .695 OPS in 263 games over four seasons with the Mets.
Last week, the Mets designated OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis for assignment.
The Mets had ten days to trade, release, waive or outright Nieuwenhuis to the minor leagues, although Nieuwenhuis had to be traded within seven days of being designated.
It would appear the Mets have found a new home for Nieuwenhuis.
A source has indicated Nieuwenhuis has been dealt to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for an unspecified return.
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York is also reporting Nieuwenhuis has been traded to the Angels.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times says the Angels acquired Nieuwenhuis for cash considerations.
Nieuwenhuis was the team’s third round pick in the 2008 first-year player draft. He hit .230/.302/.676 with 13 home runs and 60 RBI in 226 games over parts of three-plus seasons with the Mets.
Nieuwenhuis went just 3-for-38 with 17 strikeouts in 40 plate appearances this season, and was 0-for-13 with eight strikeouts as a pinch hitter after going 8-for-28 as a pinch hitter in 2014.
Last Tuesday, the Mets designated OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis for assignment.
The Mets had ten days to trade, release outright or waive the player from the time of the assignment. However, a player can only be waived within the first seven days of the assignment.
Last week, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York said the Mets were exploring a trade partner for Nieuwenhuis.
However, the clock is expiring on a trade, as the Mets will soon have to place Nieuwenhuis on waivers to avoid losing him for nothing.
But on Tuesday, Rubin said the Mets were hopeful they could still work out a trade for Nieuwenhuis despite still remaining Mets property and off the waiver wire at this time.
It’s worth seeing if a team might be interesting buying his rights or if the Mets could get some kind of lower level player, but anything they might get likely will not be of any significance.
It’s logical to conclude the Mets have next to no interest in retaining Nieuwenhuis by outrighting him to the minor leagues. It stands to reason – they know what he is at this point, he’s not getting any younger, so there’s no reason to afford him a roster spot in Las Vegas over guys who are developing and likely to be promoted there from Double-A within a month or so.
Nieuwenhuis went 3-for-38 with 17 strikeouts this season with the Mets.
Earlier this week, the Mets designated OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis for assignment.
On Saturday, assistant GM John Ricco said in Pittsburgh the club is attempting to trade Nieuwenhuis before they place him on waivers, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.
Presumably, that means the Mets will end up letting go of Nieuwenhuis if they can’t trade him. There’s no sense in affording him a roster spot in Triple-A over any of the younger guys anyway – that’s clearly part of their thinking in trying to trade him.
Nieuwenhuis went 3-for-38 with 17 strikeouts for the Mets in 2015.