After accepting the Mets’ $17.2 million qualifying offer in November, Neil Walker became their second baseman for the 2017 season, but the position’s future beyond that is hazy.
The Mets traded away their former second baseman of the future, Dilson Herrera, to the Reds for Jay Bruce on August 1. This leaves TJ Rivera, Wilmer Flores, and Matt Reynolds as the top internal second base options for 2018. This is why extending Walker was of such importance to the Mets before his season-ending back surgery. In the past week, extension talks have resumed and the two sides have been getting closer to a deal.
Per Marc Carig of Newsday, floated a discussed proposal in the three-year, $40 million range. This would be very similar to Daniel Murphy’s three-year, $37.5 million deal with the Nationals last offseason, as well as Ben Zobrist’s four-year, $56 million deal with the Cubs.
According to Kristie Ackert at the Daily News, Walker is set to try out both corner infield positions this spring to add versatility to his game. With health concerns—specifically back-related ones—at the corners with David Wright and Lucas Duda, and the possible departures next offseason of Duda, Jose Reyes, and Asdrubal Cabrera, Walker’s presence on the team and positional versatility would be especially valuable.