The New York Mets and second baseman Neil Walker have agreed to a one-year, $10.55 million contract, according to Jon Heyman. In doing so, the two sides avoid going to an arbitration hearing. When arbitration numbers were first exchanged in mid-January, Walker requested $11.8 million with the Mets offering $9.4 million. The $10.55 million salary comes in right near the midpoint of those numbers and slightly below what was projected by MLB Trade Rumors ($10.7 million) earlier in the offseason.
Walker, a former first round pick in 2004, was acquired on December 9 from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for left-handed starting pitcher Jon Niese. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson traded for the switch-hitting second baseman shortly after the Mets missed out on signing Ben Zobrist.
In 2015, Walker led the National League in home runs among second basemen with 16. To go along with his 16 home runs, he hit .269/.328/.427 with 71 RBIs. He set a career-high in home runs in 2014 with 23.
This was Walker's third year of arbitration eligibility and he will be a free agent at the end of the 2016 season. He earned $8 million last season.