Jon Niese won't evict his new teammate from apartment

NEW YORK -- Jonathon Niese will not be evicting tenant Neil Walker from a Manhattan apartment.

Niese had signed a one-year lease for an East Side apartment before the New York Mets began their playoff run last season.

When Niese was traded for Walker in December, they worked it out through their agents for Walker to sublet the apartment.

Now, Niese is back in New York, having been reacquired by the Mets on Monday from the Pittsburgh Pirates for fellow left-hander Antonio Bastardo. But rather than give Walker the boot, Niese will find alternate accommodations for the remainder of this season.

"The Mets have got me in a hotel right now," Niese said Tuesday. "Now I'm just kind of looking into a new place."

Said Walker: "I've tried to take care of the place real well. He was very gracious. I don't think anyone could have foreseen this whole situation arising. He was obviously very nice about it."

Niese had some other housekeeping issues to take care of upon rejoining the Mets.

After being traded to the Pirates during the winter meetings, Niese seemed to take a jab at the Mets' defense when he told Pittsburgh reporters, "I'm sure what I'll appreciate more than anything is the way [the Pirates] play defense."

Asked if he needed to mend any fences, Niese said, "I know my teammates, and I think they knew what I meant by what I said. From what I said, I really didn't mean to criticize the Mets' defense. All I really said was that I was excited to pitch in front of the Pirates' defense.

"It's unfortunate the way it got turned around, because it's certainly not what I meant by it. It kind of is what it is. I've talked to a lot of the guys in the clubhouse. They respect me, and I respect them. I've always loved them from the first time that I played with them."