Mets Rumors: Taijuan Walker Agrees to 2-Year $20M Contract

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2021

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Taijuan Walker winds up during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the New York Yankees on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

The New York Mets reportedly reached an agreement to sign starting pitcher Taijuan Walker ahead of the 2021 MLB season. 

SNY's Andy Martino first reported news of the deal Friday. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported the two-year contract is worth $20 million and has a third-year player option. 

It's the latest addition in what's become a blockbuster offseason that should give the Mets a serious chance to overtake the Atlanta Braves, who've won the NL East the last three years.

New York's biggest move was a trade with Cleveland to acquire shortstop Francisco Lindor and starter Carlos Carrasco.

The arrivals of Carrasco and Walker will give the Mets perhaps MLB's best rotation when Noah Syndergaard returns from Tommy John surgery in May or June:

  • Jacob deGrom
  • Carrasco
  • Marcus Stroman
  • Walker
  • David Peterson or Joey Lucchesi (Syndergaard)

The Mets also signed catcher James McCann, setup man Trevor May and a flurry of depth players to significantly improve their bench and bullpen, led by infielder Jonathan Villar and reliever Aaron Loup.

Walker is coming off a strong 2020 season split between the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays. He posted a 2.70 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with 50 strikeouts in 53.1 innings across 11 starts.

The 28-year-old right-hander is a former top prospect in the Mariners organization who's also made a stop with the Arizona Diamondbacks during his eight-year career. He owns a 3.84 ERA through 108 appearances.

Along with the Mets and Braves, the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals also made strides to upgrade their rosters during the offseason, setting up an intriguing four-team division race and a tight chase for the wild-card spots that could go right down to the wire.

New York last won the NL East in 2015, when it advanced to the World Series before falling short against the Kansas City Royals. The Mets last made the playoffs the following year.