Sunday, February 21, 2021

Mets Sign Another Solid Starter, Taijuan Walker, To Two-Year Contract

The Mets welcome Walker on Twitter (@Mets).

The Mets have stocked up pitching this offseason, mainly reliable arms like Carlos Carrasco, and they added another name to that category, Taijuan Walker, on Saturday.

The Mets announced the signing of Walker, a free agent from the Toronto Blue Jays, to a two-year contract, with a player option for 2023, on Saturday. In a corresponnding move, Noah Syndergaard was placed on the 60-Day Injured List.

Walker split the 2020 pandemic-shortened season with Seattle and Toronto, and from August 27, the day the Jays acquired him, through the end of the season, he led the American League with a 1.37 ERA, which was second in the majors. He allowed just 4 earned runs over 26.1 innings in that span, and for the season as a whole, he had a 2.70 ERA (16 earned runs/53.1 innings) with 19 walks and 50 strikeouts.

He has held right-handed hitters to a .249 average throughout his career, and was especially good last season, holding them to a slash line of .178/.252/.263 with six extra-base hits in 131 plate appearances. His opponent slugging percentage against righties led the American League (min. 100 right-handed batters faced), while his .515 OPS against right-handed batters ranked second in the league behind only Cy Young Award runner-up Kenta Maeda's .484 mark. 

Walker, 28, has gone 35-34 with a 3.84 ERA (248 earned runs/581.2 innings) in 108 career appearances (105 starts) in parts of eight seasons with Seattle (2013-16, '20), Arizona (2017-19), and Toronto (2020). He was the Mariners' first-round selection, 43rd overall, in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

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