Heyman: Mets not making qualifying offer to Taijuan Walker

Heyman: Mets not making qualifying offer to Taijuan Walker

Dale Janine-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets decided against extending a qualifying offer to the right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker, Per John Heyman The New York Post.

With Walker declining a $7.5 million player option earlier this week and the Mets choosing not to take up a $19.65 million qualifying offer, the righty will now hit unrestricted free agency and will not be subject to draft pick compensation. Free agency opens tonight at 5 pm ET

However, even with Heyman, the Mets will extend qualifying offers to pitchers Jacob DeGrom And Chris BassittAnd to the outfielder Brandon Nimmo. All three would likely decline but that would mean the team would receive draft pick compensation if the trio signed elsewhere.

It’s probably a little surprising that the Mets didn’t extend the qualifying offer to Walker, who has given the team two very solid years of baseball. After signing as a free agent before the start of the 2021 season, the 30-year-old pitched to a stellar 2.66 ERA in the first half before falling off after the All-Star break.

It was understandable given his lack of playing time three years ago, but he returned in 2022 and was a valuable member of the rotation. In 29 starts, Walker went 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA, just 45 walks and 132 strikeouts with a 1.195 WHIP and 2.6 WAR in 157.1 innings.

Walker gives the Mets some nice depth after deGrom, Max Scherzer And Bassitt in the rotation, and he’ll likely get a lot of interest in free agency from teams looking for a solid starter who can reach the bottom of the rotation and be a reliable arm. For the Mets, that means they have a lot of work to do on the pitching side with both deGrom and Bassitt hitting the open market, though the team picked up $14 million options open Carlos Carrasco Earlier today.

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