Mets could lose Taijuan Walker to free agency as market heats up

taijuan walker, mets
Aug 16, 2022; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Taijuan Walker (99) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps one of the more head-scratching moves made by the New York Mets this offseason was refusing to extend a qualifying offer to starting pitcher, Taijuan Walker.

Recently, it was reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN that thanks to there being no qualifying offer attached to Walker in his free agency, his market is fairly busy. Passan also suggested that it could lead to Walker signing a deal with a team fairly early on in the process.

Over the last two years with the Mets, while there were some inconsistent moments, Walker certainly proved himself to be a quality middle to the backend of the rotation asset. With it being likely the Mets lose Walker, it will be interesting to see how they replace him. This obviously follows the unknowns with two of the top three starters from a year ago in, Jacob deGrom and Chris Bassitt as well.

Mets could lose Taijuan Walker to FA with market heating up:

Walker, still being fairly young at 30 years old, seems slated to sign a contract for three or four years. It seems likely that he will get in the $15 million per year range.

The right-hander started 59 games in the last two seasons with the Mets, pitching over 155 innings each year. He made an All-Star appearance in 2021. Walker recorded 19 total wins and 278 strikeouts over the two-year stretch and recorded a 3.49 ERA in 2022.

One team reportedly in on not just Walker but Bassitt as well happens to be the Chicago Cubs. Should Walker sign there, he would join 2021 Met teammate, Marcus Stroman.

The first and third starting rotation spots with re-signing deGrom and Bassitt or finding replacements for them both are the clear priorities. From there, though, the Mets may still have to look to add a quality arm for depth to round out this rotation, should they not be confident in some of the younger arms they have in-house.