The Mets’ second baseman accepted a qualifying offer this winter, but is open to signing a deal keeping him in New York long-term.
Neil Walker, 31, took the Mets’ one-year, $17 million qualifying offer this offseason to keep him in New York in 2017. According to the New York Daily News’ Kristie Ackert, the two sides have discussed a multi-year deal and would still be open to the possibility.
According to Ackert, the Mets and Walker were close a few times on a three-year deal this offseason, but those talks eventually fell through. He is happy in New York, however, and is still very much interested in the idea of signing an extension with the Mets.
"“For me, looking at this, this is where I want to be, looking down the road, looking at what’s here and the potential (of what the) next two, three, four years look like, this is an exciting place to be as a big league ballplayer,” Walker said. “Nothing has come to fruition just yet, but it doesn’t mean something won’t happen.”"
According to Newsday’s Marc Carig, there is a chance that a deal still happens, as both Walker and the team remain interested.
Even with this talk of an extension, however, Walker is happy with his choice to accept the qualifying offer, according to the Daily News.
"“They way it turned out, this is the best place and how the market worked out, I am very happy that I took the qualifying offer.”"
Walker, coming off back surgery which shortened his 2016 campaign, had a solid first season in orange and blue. He hit .282 with a .347 OBP, while smacking 23 homers and driving in 55 runs in 113 games.
Much like the rest of the roster, health is key for Walker in 2017. If he can stay on the field, he will play a major role for the Mets as they look to reach the postseason for the third consecutive season.