Taijuan Walker Rumors
Let's round up the latest items out of the NL Central, which, like the rest of baseball's divisions, now features just five teams....
- The Pirates made an attempt to land pitching prospect Taijuan Walker in a deal for Garrett Jones, but were rebuffed by the Mariners, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel adds the Pirates to the list of teams with interest in Manny Parra (Twitter link).
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin remains undecided on whether the team will pursue a contract extension for Corey Hart, writes Haudricourt. Melvin, who typically works out extensions in the spring, told Haudricourt that a Hart extension isn't something the club would address at the Winter Meetings.
Rival teams say the Mariners have made many players untouchable in trades, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. However, a Seattle official tells Rosenthal the team is “wide open” on possible deals.
The list of untouchable players includes Felix Hernandez, Dustin Ackley, Kyle Seager, and prospects Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen, James Paxton and Nick Franklin, Rosenthal reports. Some executives question whether Ackley and Seager should be off-limits at this stage in their careers.
Mariners such as Jason Vargas, Kevin Millwood, Brandon League, Miguel Olivo and Brendan Ryan could draw interest this summer. GM Jack Zduriencik will be expected to consider trade offers for some veterans given Seattle's 36-51 record.
Ask Taijuan Walker to describe himself and he'll tell you that the Mariners selected a “considerate” young man with their supplementary round selection this year. Ask scouts to describe the 17-year-old they saw throwing mid-90s fastballs and “considerate” will probably not be the first word they use. They’ll tell you about a pitcher with a lively fastball and a promising, but inconsistent curve.
Walker may soon be able to show those pitches off in the Mariners’ system, since he has tentative plans to sit down and discuss a deal with the M’s once he graduates from high school this week.
“I want to get signed,” Walker said on a conference call today.