Over his seven seasons with the Pirates, Neil Walker became the embodiment of the steady, but unexciting, player. The 30-year-old regressed from a 23-homer season in 2014 to put up numbers very similar to those from the bulk of his career, including a .269 batting average, 16 home runs, 71 RBI and 69 runs. Now with the Mets, Walker is still a safe option, but his level of production may not cut it in a standard mixed Head-to-Head league. He is a good choice in the late rounds of standard mixed Rotisserie drafts.
Walker and the Mets agreed to a one-year, $10.55 million contract Friday, avoiding arbitration, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. After being traded to the Mets in exchange for Jon Niese, the only part left to make Walker a Met was to settle his contract either before or through arbitration. They managed to get a deal done before arbitration, as Walker settled to take $50,000 less than the middle point between his asking price and the Mets' initial offer. The 30-year-old will hope to be one of the better hitting second basemen again this season, as he has proven to be in the past by hitting at least 12 home runs and driving in over 50 runs every season since 2010.
Walker was traded to the Mets on Wednesday for left-hander Jon Niese, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Mets have found their primary replacement for Daniel Murphy at second base, acquiring the 30-year-old Walker as he enters his third winter of arb eligibility. Walker hit 16 homers in 2015, the third straight season in which he's reached that mark, but his numbers against southpaws once again left a lot to be desired (.237/.284/.290). He could lose out on at-bats against lefties to the likes of Wilmer Flores and/or Dilson Herrera.
Pirates second baseman Neil Walker went 4 for 5 with a home run and six RBI in Wednesday's 13-7 rout of the Rockies. Walker's six runs batted in were a career high, as the switch-hitter feasted on poor Colorado pitching and helped the Pirates clinch a playoff spot. The 30-year-old has been a stable presence in Pittsburgh's lineup, exceeding 500 plate appearances in each of his last four seasons while batting over .250.
Pirates second baseman Neil Walker is out of the lineup Saturday against the Dodgers. Few hitters have had success against the Dodgers' scheduled starter for the game, Clayton Kershaw, but Walker's 1-for-9 career mark is particularly poor. In an effort to optimize their lineup, the Pirates will keep Walker on the bench and give the start at second base to Josh Harrison.
Pirates second baseman Neil Walker went 2 for 4 with a solo home run in a 6-2 loss to the Dodgers on Friday. Walker is scorching hot right now, as he is 6 for 10 with a homer, a double, two RBI and two runs scored over his last three games. It's a small sample size, but it's no surprise it all came off right-handers. Walker has hit all of his home runs and is batting 46 points higher this season against righties when he hits left-handed. He may consider going lefty full-time if he continues to struggle against southpaws next season, as his .295 SLG as a righty is atrocious.