After rejecting their offer for Jay Bruce, the Mets are now fielding interest from the Yankees about their second baseman.
According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, Neil Walker is on the Evil Empire’s radar, and they’re trying to see if a deal with the Mets is possible. Talks are still in the very early stages, it seems, so it’s not something that’s for sure going to happen at this point.
The Yankees are trying to add another bat to their lineup, and the switch-hitting Neil Walker could be very useful for them in the Bronx.
As recently as this week, Walker has played second base, first base (for the first time in his professional career), and third base (for the first time as a Met). He’s looked comfortable in those out of position games, so that type of versatility will definitely help his trade value.
Offensively, Walker has been at or slightly below his career averages. He’s currently .250 with a .326 on-base percentage, and .422 slugging percentage. Walker has hit nine home runs, and driven in 34 thus far in 2017.
The Mets have been pretty active the last couple of weeks. They’ve dealt three major players to three contenders, so they’ll likely hope to move the remainder of their potential free agent contracts as well.
For this deal to happen, the issue is all about the money.
Like with those previously mentioned deals, the Mets are likely asking the Yankees to take on the rest of Neil Walker’s contract which could exceed $6 million. This is apparently a big enough issue for the Wilpon-owned team that they decided to pick a worse offer from the Indians – who were willing to take on Bruce’s remaining money – than work with the Yankees – who were unwilling to take all of it, but offered better prospects.
If neither party is willing to budge, this deal will obviously not get done. It’s interesting though that after the Bruce deal falling through, the Yankees have still kept on trying to work out a deal with their crosstown rivals. Maybe they feel a deal for Walker could get done without needing to get caught up on the money issue. Either way, I’m sure we’ll be finding out the answer soon enough.