Philez, Tejuan Walker agree to 4-year, $72 million deal: sources

Written by Ken Rosenthal, Matt Gelb, and Will Sammon

The Philadelphia Phillies They agreed to a four-year, $72 million contract and free agent pitcher Taijuan Walker, major league sources reported. the athlete. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Walker is ranked No. 12 overall the athleteList of Keith Law’s Top 50 Free Agents.
  • The 30-year-old right-hander went 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA over 157.1 IP last season.
  • He earned an All-Star nod for the first time in his career in 2021, his first season with the NFL mets.
  • In addition to Walker, the Phillies are closing in on a deal for left-handed reliever Matt Strahm, major-league sources say. the athlete.

Scout report

In 2022, Walker showed why a multi-year contract should be pursued, even if it’s a mid-level free agent option.

Walker reconfigured himself as a pitcher with an outfield, one he had barely used prior to Tommy John surgery. Batsmen find it very difficult to get the ball up against him; The average angle of inning on the infield when hitters make contact is -1°. Of the balls hit at a Walker terminator, 55 percent were at 0 degrees or less, meaning they are parallel to or toward the ground, and only six percent were hit in the launch angle range of 26 to 30 degrees where the balls reach 95 miles in time or more difficult. The drums are by Statcast, which means they are likely extra-base hits.

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Law: The Phillies address another important question with the addition of Taijuan Walker

Why did the Phillies make the move

Once the Phillies agreed to a $300 million deal for the Tria TurnerTheir next target was a reliable thrower in the middle of their spin. They were reluctant to sign a pitcher who was linked with an eligible offer because they would be surrendering draft picks to sign Turner. So they paid a premium for one of the best starters who didn’t cost them their picks. The $18 million annual salary for a middle-spinning pitcher is pretty high, but if it wasn’t already obvious, the Phillies aren’t going to win any awards for efficiency. They don’t care.

They needed to replace a significant amount of the spinning roles lost from Rahil Kyle GibsonAnd the Zack Evelyn and Noah Syndergaard. Walker, 30, has spent two straight healthy seasons with the Mets. He used his splitter more in 2022 than ever before, and that’s the extra pitch the Phillies could ask him to throw more in 2023. Opponents hit . 15 with a . 267 percentage.

Last season, the Phillies adopted a straightforward philosophy with their pitchers: Throw better, throw them more. So, it’s reasonable to believe that the Phillies see more upside in Walker with a few tweaks. Even if he’s the pitcher he was in 2022 – 111 ERA + – he’ll provide a steady powerhouse in the middle of the rotation. – Gelb

What you get philadelphia with walker

After settling short-term deals during his previous outings in free agency, Walker was eyeing a long-term agreement. With the Mets, he was a consistent pitcher of the ground ball and a reliable piece of their turnover. In two years with the Mets, Walker made All-Star appearances in 2021, posted better numbers in 2022 and had a 3.98 total ERA/4.11 FIP with a 1.18 WHIP in 316 1/3 innings pitched across 59 games, including 58 starts. Using more of a split finger and relying less on his four-seam fastball, Walker produced his best season with a 3.49 ERA, 3.65 FIP, and 2.5 fWAR in 157 1/3 innings pitched. With a solid floor walker. You pretty much know what you’re getting, and it’s more than a usable option in the Phillies rotation. – Samon

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The Phillies have solidified the rotation with Taijuan Walker and put his stamp on the Winter Meetings

(Photo: Brad Penner/USA Today)

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