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Mets, Neil Walker extension talks held up over 2017 salary

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Suggested creative accounting appears to be at fault.

MLB: New York Mets at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Extension talks between the Mets and Neil Walker have hit a “snag,” per Marc Carig at Newsday. Ed Coleman says the basic framework of an extension would be two years plus an option.

But the Mets reportedly want to restructure Walker’s 2017 contract to allow the team some financial flexibility this season—and to add the value to the back end of the deal, which has been reported to be somewhere in the $28 to $40 million dollar range.

Walker had season-ending back surgery in September, but it appears that the Mets are not too worried about his recovery if the extension talks are any indication. When healthy last season, Walker put up career best numbers in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and tied his career best in home runs, all while playing a solid second base. He accepted the Mets’ qualifying offer, which was worth $17.2 million, earlier this offseason. Walker joined Jeremy Hellickson as the only players to accept a qualifying offer after the 2016 season.

Walker could potentially also get reps at third base and first base this spring, adding to the Mets’ already-quite-versatile infield that also includes multi-position players Jose Reyes, T.J. Rivera, and Wilmer Flores, as well as Walker’s regular double play partner, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera.