6) MLB free agent Mets starting pitcherTaijuan Walker
Taijuan Walker remains a bit of a mystery as far as expectations go. He’s relatively young and will reach free agency for the second time in his career assuming he doesn’t pick up the $6 million player option the Mets have on him. Walker has pitched well enough to get a lot more even if it’s just a one year deal. He has proven himself worthy and as long as he stays healthy down the stretch, someone is going to reward him with a multi-year contract.
The Mets have quite a few potential free agent starting pitchers this offseason. Behind Walker, we only find Carlos Carrasco. The more veteran of the two turned things around nicely in 2022 after a miserable 2021. Walker has done the same but age in his case is such a huge advantage.
Walker’s last deal he signed with the Mets prior to 2021 seemed a bit team-friendly. He’s actually only earning $7 million this season after taking home $10 million last year in what turned out to be a far less productive stretch.
How Walker finishes the season will say a lot about how much money he’ll get paid and for how long. He has proven he isn’t about to become the next Rick Porcello that completely vanishes. However, he’s not quite up there with some other Mets free agents.