After getting outbid on many of the top free agent starting pitchers, the New York Mets finally have their guy. Taijuan Walker is coming to the Mets on a two-year, $20 million contract.
Andy Martino from SNY first broke the news.
The Mets have a deal with taijuan Walker, sources tell SNY.
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) February 19, 2021
Walker, 28, is an eight-year veteran who’s spent time with the Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks and most recently the Toronto Blue Jays. With a career 3.84 ERA, 108 ERA+ and 1.246 WHIP, Walker is more than effective as a rotation piece. Of course, the big concern with Walker is his extensive injury history. So far, he has never made 30 starts or cleared 170 innings in a season. He was shut down after just three starts in 2018, ultimately undergoing Tommy John surgery. The following year he made just one start, pitching only one inning.
The good news is that Walker had an excellent 2020. In 11 starts with the Mariners and Blue Jays, he put up a 2.73 ERA, 161 ERA+ and 1.163 WHIP. That said, his high walk rate (3.2 BB/9) and limited sample size (53.1 innings) may be cause for caution.
Still, if Walker can stay healthy, he may very well be the final piece of the Mets’ rotation puzzle. With Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, Marcus Stroman and eventually Noah Syndergaard headlining things, Walker will be the no. 4 or 5 guy, leaving David Peterson and Joey Lucchesi competing for the final spot.
Featured Image Courtesy of Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
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