Walker, 34, was once a sturdy MLB regular at second base. But he has functioned as more of a part-time corner player — first, third, and the outfield as well — over the past two seasons. He could battle with former Pirates teammate Josh Harrison and others for a utility role in Philly.
It’s a reasonable opportunity, but this still represents yet another suboptimal trip onto the open market for Walker. He took a qualifying offer from the Mets in 2017 and seemingly made good on the bet with another season of solidly above-average hitting. To that point of his career, Walker was a .272/.341/.437 hitter through more than four thousand MLB plate appearances. But he ran into the same headwinds that impacted so many others and ultimate landed with the Yankees on a surprisingly light, late-breaking contract. Hamstring and back issues no doubt hurt his market standing as well.
As it turned out, Walker hit a wall at the plate in the 2018 campaign. He was left with a $2MM deal with the Marlins. The results were improved in 2019, as Walker turned in an approximately league-average .261/.344/.395 output in 381 plate appearances. But that came despite judicious platoon deployment by the Fish. Walker has long carried yawning platoon splits and is best held to facing right-handed pitching.