The New York Mets had another eventful day on Monday. They jumped off the pursuit of left-handed reliever Justin Wilson, who ended up signing with the New York Yankees, and secured the services of Kevin Pillar to shore up the defense in center field, which was an area of need entering the offseason and now has Pillar and Albert Almora.
Now, after covering center field, the New York Mets are reportedly circling back to pitching. According to Michael Mayer, the team has been in contact with free agent starter Taijuan Walker.
Walker is still just 28, but has been very injury-prone throughout his major league tenure. Still, according to Mayer, he is “said to be looking for” a multi-year deal worth at least $10 million per year.
Considering that spring training is about to open this week, it seems unlikely that the Mets or any other team decides to give him that much money.
The Mets are impressed with Walker’s 2020
Walker had a very good 2020 season, with a 2.70 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 50/19 K/BB ratio over 53 1/3 innings last season between the Seattle Mariners and the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Mets consider Walker as a cheaper alternative to fellow free agent hurler Jake Odorizzi, who is reportedly looking for a three-year deal north of $40 million. The Mets have expressed interest in the former Twin, but it remains to be seen how much more money they spend with the season being so close.
For now, they appear to have their sights on Walker, who could provide a bit of upside to an already good Mets rotation that has Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard (in June or July) Carlos Carrasco, Marcus Stroman, David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi, Jordan Yamamoto, and Jerad Eickhoff.
Signing Walker would represent another upgrade to the rotation, but the Mets need to weigh his injury history into the equation before making an offer.