The Mets intend to make a $17.2MM qualifying offer to impending free agent Neil Walker, reports ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin. Around this time last month, Rubin reported that Walker would likely receive the QO so long as his recovery from the season-ending back surgery he underwent in September progressed well. It would seem, then, that Walker’s rehab remains on track.
Walker, 31, came to the Mets from the Pirates last winter in a one-for-one swap that sent Jon Niese to Pittsburgh. New York clearly got the better end of the deal, as Walker was one of the team’s best hitters, batting .282/.347/.476 and tying a career-high with 23 home runs. While his defense has been questioned in the past, he drew strong marks from both Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved in 2016 and was a slam-dunk qualifying offer candidate prior to undergoing the aforementioned back surgery.
While some may question the Mets’ wisdom, if Walker’s recovery from the operation is going well, he’s a strong candidate to receive a multi-year deal that will guarantee him considerably more than he’d earn by accepting the QO. A sizable four-year deal seemed likely for Walker before his surgery, and while four years doesn’t feel as likely in the wake of his operation, a three-year pact at a considerable annual value would still be a more lucrative offer than a one-year deal at a higher rate. If Walker does decline the qualifying offer, any team that wishes to sign him will forfeit its top unprotected draft pick (the top 10 overall selections in the draft are protected), and the Mets will receive a compensatory pick at the end of the first round.
In the event that Walker departs, the Mets aren’t short on internal options to replace him at second base. Jose Reyes’ league-minimum option will be exercised by the team, and Wilmer Flores has plenty of experience at second base as well. Beyond that, rookie T.J. Rivera emerged from Triple-A Las Vegas and showed well in September this season, giving the Mets a variety of options to vie for playing time in 2017.
Not a terrible position for The Mets to be in, even if Walker accepts and puts up just decent Neil Walker numbers.
Right — this one makes sense to offer as long as there’s nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to his rehab.
I think it makes sense for the mets to offer it and also for walker to accept it.
What stops him from accepting a whopping 17 million for one season to prove he’s healthy then signing a 4 year 60 million dollar offer after ’17? Anyone see him getting a 5yr 75 million dollar offer this offseason? Mets have option for the infield , not sure if the risk of him accepting is worth the shot at draft picks.
You don’t offer the QO unless you’re willing to pay him if he accepts. it’s a lot of money for a year, but they wouldn’t have to deal with the years of decline signing a typical FA, so they must feel he’s worth the salary.
The fact that success is fleeting and players with families prefer multi-year stability as opposed to a year-to-year mercenary lifestyle, mostly. Especially for a guy coming off back surgery, if him and his agents are confident that there’s $36-50MM out there for him in free agency, that’s appealing. Walker doesn’t fully know how his back will hold up in 2017, and if teams are willing to offer the security now — I think they are — then it makes sense to pursue it.
Players don’t want to play on one-year deals. Most of them, Walker included, have been on one-year deals their entire career, and they fight to get to the point where they have the right to earn that security rather than always playing for their next payday.
He’s a good, not great aging 2b coming off a back injury who will be straddled with a draft pick, which teams are gonna be willing to give that kind of money and a pick (legitimate question)?
Yes but he doesn’t actually know whether there’s 36-50m out there, and he doesn’t get to test the market first before deciding on the QO.
There’s a nonzero risk he rejects it and then gets Dexter Fowler’d… and I think knowledge of that risk will drive him to accept.
They’ll have him for an extra year then, which is fine for what he brings
Really hope he declines, Mets need to get away from the HR or bust mentality and having Reyes/Rivera in the lineup everyday would help in that regard. Also, anyone else think Flores should start every game against lefties?
Walker isn’t a home run or bust kind of player. He hit for a good average and and had a good OBP. He consistently does this year to year.
Another Mets Mistake if he accepts ? Overpaying for a Good Second Baseman , not a great one !
Not sure where this comment was supposed to go anymore but it wasn’t supposed to be here.
No brainer. Great move whether he accepts or rejects it. If he rejects if they get he pick. If he accepts they get a quality player on a one-year deal and have Reyes/Rivera as super subs and insurance for when David Wright needs a DL stint.
Walker was the Mets 2nd best position player this year behind Ces. Will be interesting to see both of them leave.
If the Mets do, in fact, offer Neil Walker a QO, he would be foolish not to accept it. $17.2 million guaranteed for a single season equates to close to double the salary he earned for the injury-filled 2016 season. Despite having a solid season prior to his back surgery, one has to question the extent of interest outside of New York. He was a good second baseman when traded from the Pirates, and his trade-value equated to a second-tier starting pitcher. Can’t envision too many sensible general managers signing a ” good” 31 year old, defensively-challenged, second baseman coming off back surgery, giving away a first round draft pick to a long -term contract.
How is he “defensively-challenged”?
Question- do pitchers ever get qualifying offers? I don’t recall one off the top of my head
Just last year Greinke, Zimmermann, Iwakuma, Gallardo, Brett Anderson, Wei-Yin Chen, Lackey, Samardzija, Ian Kennedy, and Marco Estrada all got qualifying offers. In 2014 Scherzer, Shields,David Robertson, Ervin Santana, and Liriano.