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Pirates trade Jon Niese to Mets for Antonio Bastardo

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

In a move that is, apparently, not some typo or discarded Kafka plot, the Pirates have traded Jon Niese back to the Mets for Antonio Bastardo. Both players, then, return to their former teams, who each shrug and say, "Whoops."

Bastardo is also under contract for 2017, so the Mets will send cash to offset some of his $6.5 million salary next season.

Bastardo has not pitched well with the Mets, with a 4.74 ERA so far this year. His peripherals indicate he's pretty close to the pitcher he was last season, though -- he still gets his share of whiffs, but walks too many batters and allows too many fly balls. He walked a pretty thin line last year en route to a 2.98 ERA with the Pirates, and now they'll gamble that he can do it again.

Or maybe the Bucs aren't even expecting that and are just happy to get a functional baseball player in return for Jon Niese. If that's the case, I can't blame them.