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NY Mets offseason grades for the major winter transactions

Mar 1, 2021; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) returns to the dugout against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 1, 2021; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) returns to the dugout against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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Mar 9, 2021; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Taijuan Walker (99) delivers a pitch during the first inning of a spring training game between the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

Mets sign Taijuan Walker to a two-year $17 million dollar deal

The Mets rotation was a disaster last season as they lost Noah Syndergaard due to injury and Marcus Stroman opted out. The Mets addressed this hole by signing Stroman, trading for Carrasco, and signing Taijuan Walker.

At one point, Walker was one of the premier prospects in all of baseball. He was ranked as the sixth-best prospect on MLB.com’s top 100 prospect list in 2014. While he hasn’t lived up to those expectations at all, he did pitch well in 2020. Splitting time with the Mariners and the Blue Jays, Walker went 4-3 with a 2.70 ERA in his 11 starts.

Throughout his career, Walker has been pretty decent. No, he has not lived up to the hype as a top prospect but he is a solid option at the back end of a rotation.

The big red flag with Walker has been health. In 2018 and 2019 he made a combined four starts and 14 innings. He has never had a season in which he has made 30 starts and has never pitched 170 innings. It is a lot to ask to expect Walker to give you 30+ starts when he’s never done it before.

What I like about this offseason is the Mets acquired a bunch of starting pitching depth. Guys like Joey Lucchesi, Jordan Yamamoto, and even Mike Montgomery can be relied upon to make a spot start or two if need be. With Walker’s injury history, there might be a need.

The Mets signed Walker to a two-year $17 million-dollar deal, and a third-year player option worth $6 million dollars.

This is not a lot of money for someone who is a good pitcher when he pitches, but with his injury history, there is some risk involved.

I like the pitcher they got but just can’t trust that he will be on the field enough to justify the contract. I hope he proves me wrong.

Grade: B

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