The defending National League champion Philadelphia Phillies have already made a huge splash in MLB free agency, signing shortstop Trea Turner to an 11-year, $300 million contract.
Apparently, front office head David Dombrowski and Co. are not done adding former division rivals to the mix.
Jon Heyman (yes, that one) of MLB Network reported Tuesday evening that Philadelphia has signed All-Star starter Taijuan Walker away from the New York Mets in free agency. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirmed the report while adding that the deal is worth $72 million over four years.
The starting rotation is certainly a need for Philadelphia with Kyle Gibson having recently signed with the Baltimore Orioles. Meanwhile, Noah Syndergaard remains available in MLB free agency.
Walker, 30, should help front a rotation that includes Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola and Ranger Suarez, among others.
Related: Sportsnaut’s updated MLB rumors
Philadelphia Phillies hope Taijuan Walker’s injury-plagued ways are behind him
Previously one of the top prospects in MLB after the Seattle Mariners made him a first-round pick back in 2010, Walker had drawn comparisons to the great Felix Hernandez.
After performing pretty well in limited action with the Mariners from 2013-16, Walker was dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a blockbuster trade back in 2016 that included the likes of Ketel Marte, Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger.
Unfortunately, injuries defined Walker’s career from 2018-2020 when he saw action in just 15 combined games.
The hurler then returned to form after landing with the Mets back in 2021, earning his first All-Star appearance. He followed that up with another solid showing this past season.
Taijuan Walker stats (2021-22): 19-16 record, 3.98 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 278 strikeouts in 316.1 innings
Despite this recent performance, the Philadelphia Phillies are taking a chance that Walker’s injury issues don’t pop up again. Handing him $18 million annually magnifies that further.