2) NY Mets free agent Taijuan Walker has raised his stock
Starting pitchers are always valuable in free agency. Taijuan Walker has done a ton to increase the value of his next contract. Certainly an All-Star candidate this year, his bigger focus will be on having a much better second half for the Mets in 2022. A strong finish could be the difference between a fat five-year contract and a shorter “make good” kind of deal.
Before even signing with the Mets prior to 2021, the question with Walker that lingered most was in regards to his health. He was able to stay on the field last year. This season, aside from a brief absence, he has been healthy and effective.
Prior to a recent bludgeoning at the bats of the Atlanta Braves, Walker was having a very strong season. We shouldn’t let that or any other hiccups along the way have us rethink all of the happy thoughts we’ve had about him. Walker will just need to finish off the year strong in order to him to enter free agency this winter for the best possible contract. After last year’s tanking in the second half, he has to prove he’s a full-season pitcher.
The Mets have reportedly already shown interest in keeping Walker around. He may, in fact, work his way into becoming one of the more coveted free agent starting pitchers this offseason. He may not think of him in the same class as some other arms on the rise, but his performance on the field suggests he’s right there with many of them.