Rumor: Mets’ true stance on Taijuan Walker’s future, revealed
The New York Mets currently have much of their focus set on this season’s MLB trade deadline and the upcoming stretch run of the campaign. However, they are slated to soon face dilemmas regarding the futures of several players on the team, including Taijuan Walker.
The New York Post’s Jon Heyman shared updates on the long-term statuses of multiple starting pitchers on the Mets roster. For Walker, he notes that the veteran right-handed pitcher “will” opt out of his contract after this season.
As it stands, Walker will be able to hit free agency later this year, as he has a $6 million player option for the 2023 campaign that includes a $3 million buyout. The player option on his contract can reach up to $8.5 million based on performance-based incentives.
Heyman added that from the Mets’ standpoint regarding Walker’s future with the team, they are “interested” in bringing him back for next season.
On Walker’s part, he revealed earlier this month that he has not discussed with Mets team officials about the possibility of coming to terms on a long-term deal. At the least, he is open to signing off on a longer-term deal rather than once again putting pen to paper on a short-term contract.
“I’ve been on short-term deals my last two free agencies,” Walker said. “It would be nice to do a longer-term deal and kind of just be set up in one place and know that I’m going to be here for a couple years.
“Maybe have my family settle in a little bit. That would be nice. … But I’m excited. I’m excited for what the future holds, and I’m also excited to continue to pitch good and try to make the playoffs. I want to pitch in the playoffs to show what I can do. But I’ve had a really great time here with the Mets.”
Walker already has an eye on the upcoming free agency period, as he reportedly hired Scott Boras to be his new agent.
In the big picture, Walker has been a standout performer for the Mets this season, posting an ERA+ of 157 over 91.2 innings pitched.