Walker had an outstanding 2020 after he only started 4 games in 2018 and 2019 due to Tommy John surgery. He is certainly a candidate for the AL comeback player of the year award after he posted a 2.70 ERA in 11 starts in 2020.
Walker was drafted by the Mariners and played his first four seasons in Seattle, but he was then traded to the Diamondbacks in the deal that also sent Ketel Marte to Arizona for Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger.
After Walker was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks in 2019, the Mariners took a chance and brought him back in before trading him to the Toronto Blue Jays. Now as Walker re-enters free agency he is in a tough spot.
Even though Walker had an impressive ERA and was a great story in 2020, he had a 4.56 FIP along with unimpressive Baseball Savant advanced stats that could lead teams to not want to pay the 27-year-old in this economy. Add that all together, along with a clubhouse in Seattle that seemed to love Walker and would welcome him back with open arms, the Mariners could re-sign Taijuan and hope that his successful 2020 continues into a full 2021 season and beyond.
If the Mariners could get his value down to $7-8 million for two years, or a little more with a club option, they would have to bring Taijuan Walker back to Seattle.