This free agent market and the bargains out there are ridiculous.
The Yanks signed veteran 2B Neil Walker to a 1-yr., $4MM deal.
Walker, 32, a switch-hitter, made $17.2 MM last year (took the qualifying offer), and 10.5 MM the year before that. MLB trade rumors had him projected to get a two-year, $20MM deal. The Yanks get him for a year at $4MM? (Plus incentives that could make him more $$).
This Yankees’ lineup is getting downright scary.
Walker has battled some injuries the past two years, but his 162 g. average is .272-20-80 with an OPS+ of 113. In this lineup he could be batting 8th or 9th.
20 HR/80 RBI from a guy hitting 8th or 9th? That reminds me of Scott Brosius in 1998 when he hit .300-19-98, OPS+ 121 batting at the bottom of the lineup, and we all know how good that 1998 team was.
Last year, Walker missed some 45 games but between the Mets and Brewers, hit .265-14-49, OPS+ 111.
Can you imagine a lineup something like Gardner/Judge (batting 2nd because of his AL leading 127 walks and an OBP of .422 last year) Stanton (so Judge and Stanton both bat in the first inning, putting that much pressure on the starting pitcher) Didi (to break up the righty bats) Sanchez, Bird, Hicks, Walker and Drury?
OK, you have an OPS+ of 100 that is average. Here is what the OPS+ was last year, with that lineup, in the order I gave you.
104/171/165/106/126/84 (Bird was hurt most of last year, but was 135 when he came up at the end of 2015 let’s hope it’s that)/ 122/111 and 89. Drury, who hit .267-13-63 is the low guy there at the end.
Let’s repeat that, and give Bird the 135.
100 is league average.
Walker has played for the Pirates (2009-2015), Mets (2016-2017) and Brewers (2017). He has that NY experience with the Mets.
Twice he has popped 20 or more HR in a season. He has one Silver Slugger Award.
It’s a one-year deal, so what it means for Gleyber Torres and/or Tyler Wade remains to be seen. For now, it probably sends them both to the minors and buys more time. SWB should have one killer team this year. How it also affects say, a Thairo Estrada or Abiatal Avelino is to be determined also, not to mention Tyler Austin or Adam Lind if Walker is slated to backup at 1B.
I wonder if some prospects could be moved in a blockbuster for a top-notch pitcher.
Primarily a 2B, Walker has a little experience at 3B and 1B also. Hopefully he does better for the Yanks in the postseason than he did for Pittsburgh. In 8 postseason games, he is 2 for 31.
To clear roster space, the Yanks DFA’d OF Jake Cave, released INF Danny Espinosa and sent INF Kyle Holder down to minor league camp.
Yankees’ advisor Reggie Jackson is scheduled for knee surgery after a fall.