Yeah, I am a sucker for reunions. At least, the ones I don’t have to go to. Taijuan Walker was part of the now-famous trade that brought back Mitch Haniger and Jean Segura to the Mariners for Walker and Ketel Marte. A trade that has worked out well for both sides.
However, it has not worked out too well for Walker who has appeared in just 4 games for the Diamondbacks the past 2 seasons and is now just one year from free agency. Walker is expected to make $5 million in arbitration this winter and the Diamondbacks have 12 arbitration cases to settle this winter and, you guessed it, is a mid-market team.
Now, Arizona doesn’t have to trade Walker so there isn’t going to much motivation to do so. The last time he was healthy, Walker threw 157 innings of 4.04 FIP ball in 2017 and he is just 27-years-old.
Unlike the other names on the list so far, Walker is a true rental but provides an upside to a rotation that needs to survive for the first few months of 2020. He still relies heavily on his fastball and splitter combo, so a future in the bullpen isn’t out of the question.
Basically, the Mariners would be acquiring Walker to get a last look and see if he can stay healthy. If he can, perhaps Seattle can re-sign him and make a part of the future. If not, perhaps he can pitch well enough to be flipped at the deadline for something useful to the rebuild.
Either way, I just want Taijuan Walker back in Mariners Blue. Is that too much to ask?