NEW YORK — Days after pitchers and catchers reported to Port St. Lucie, Fla., the Mets made a significant addition to fill out that group.
The Mets agreed to terms on Friday with Taijuan Walker on a two-year, $20 million deal, according to multiple sources, adding an established starting pitcher to a rotation that, on paper, already ranked among the better groups in the league. The team has not confirmed the deal, which is pending a physical.
Walker, 28, posted a 2.70 ERA over 11 starts last season after returning from Tommy John surgery late the previous year. Fully healthy, he struck out 50 batters over 53 1/3 innings split between the Mariners and Blue Jays. Walker is a former first-round Draft pick who owns a 3.84 career ERA over eight years in Seattle, Arizona and Toronto.
In New York, Walker figures to slot into the rotation after Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman and Carlos Carrasco, bumping either David Peterson or Joey Lucchesi out of that mix. That could prove important for the Mets coming off a 60-game season, with innings limits potentially in play for Peterson or others.
The two-year deal also gives the Mets insurance past this season, with Noah Syndergaard — who is due back from his own Tommy John surgery around June — eligible to become a free agent.