The Mets and 2B Neil Walker were never able to come to an agreement on a contract extension this offseason.
Earlier in the season, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reported that during the 2016-2017 offseason Walker’s representatives initially rejected a $42 million extension, only to attempt to accept it later on.
This afternoon, Steven Marcus of Newsday reported that Walker told him there was indeed a three year, $42 million contract extension offered but Walker says the Mets pulled the offer off the table as opposed to his team rejecting it.
“It’s well documented that I never turned down anything. They can say what they want and I’m not going to get into that. As far as a miscalculation on my part, absolutely not,” Walker said.
Walker added, “Trust me, I’m a well-educated baseball player. What was out there, I was willing to take. There’s some gray area that I’m not willing to speak on. No stone was left unturned as far as that’s concerned.”
The 32-year old middle-tier infielder ended up having to wait until March 12 to settle on a cheap one-year, $4-million deal with the Yankees.
Walker started out the 2018 slow and was fighting for playing time. Due to multiple injuries, Walker has been able to fill in nicely as a utility man in the Bronx. Entering tonight, through 79 games Walker has hit .227/.299/.339 with 10 doubles, 6 home runs, and 30 RBI’s.
“It took me a while to get to a good place as far as producing. It’s good to be able to help, especially in a playoff run,” Walker said.
As far as his impending free agency this offseason, Walker says he is not too sure what to expect.
“I don’t know what will be out there. I thought there would be a clear-cut everyday job for me this past offseason. That wasn’t the case. You kind of hope for the best but prepare for the worse where we are now in the game for the middle-tier free agent, so we’ll see,” Walker said
Over two seasons with the Mets, Walker was a serviceable second baseman and hit .275/.344/.462 with 33 home runs, 22 doubles, and 91 RBI’s in 186 games.