The New York Mets made yet another move to bolster their pitching depth, agreeing to terms with right-hander starter Taijuan Walker. The news was reported by Andy Martino of SNY.tv.
Right now, the Mets have Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, Carlos Carrasco, David Peterson, Walker, Joey Lucchesi, Jerad Eickhoff, and Jordan Yamamoto as starting pitching depth, and let’s not forget that Noah Syndergaard will eventually return from Tommy John surgery.
Finding roster spots for every named pitcher will be extremely difficult for the New York Mets, so if everybody is healthy, it is possible that Peterson, Eickhoff, and Yamamoto start the year in the minors.
Walker, meanwhile, parlayed a very good 2020 season into a two-year contract even after spring training started. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Walker will collect $20 million in the two-year pact, and there is a $6 million player option for a third year.
Injuries have robbed the 28-year-old Walker much playing time in the last few years, but he was excellent in 2020, with a 2.70 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 50/19 K/BB ratio over 53 1/3 innings between the Seattle Mariners and the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Mets’ latest pitching weapon
The Mets are hoping he can at least replicate those numbers over a full season, but even if quite can’t, he offers a nice combination of floor and potential for a team that needs all the pitching it can get.
Walker will surely have to fight for his place in the Mets’ rotation, and if he’s there, he is going to have to perform to keep it with the impressive depth that the club has managed to put together for the 2021 season.
Things may get quite crowded for the Mets’ manager Luis Rojas once Thor is deemed ready to return from his Tommy John surgery, presumably in June or July.