Listen to Seattle Sports: Ray, Mariners face off with Red Sox

A closer look at Taijuan Walker, who is rejoining Mariners’ rotation

Feb 12, 2020, 11:51 AM | Updated: 3:16 pm
Mariners RHP Taijuan Walker...
Taijuan Walker's first stint with the Mariners was from 2-13 to 2016. (Getty)

The Mariners are bringing back a familiar face in right-handed starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, who will likely be back in Seattle’s starting rotation when opening day rolls around.

Drayer: Mariners begin a very different, very important Spring Training

Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Walker, 27, is signing a one-year deal worth $2 million. He can earn up to $3 million total with incentives. The team officially announced the signing Wednesday afternoon.

There had been rumors of a possible Walker-Mariners reunion during the offseason, and he was assumed a likely candidate to be signed by Seattle after general manager Jerry Dipoto said that the team was looking to sign at least one more starting pitcher in free agency.

Walker had a workout in front of roughly 20 MLB teams recently, and was in the Mariners’ spring training clubhouse on Wednesday, per 710 ESPN Seattle’s Shannon Drayer. Pitchers and catchers reported for spring training Wednesday.

Soon after word got out that Walker was visiting with Seattle, he sent out a tweet with a picture of him from his initial Mariners tenure, signaling his return to Seattle.

Drayer covered Walker’s signing in this story. Here, we’re going to take a closer look at Walker and give a refresher on who the newest Mariners addition is.

RHP Taijuan Walker

• Was a first-round draft pick out of high school in 2010. The Mariners selected the right-hander with the 43rd overall pick.

• Was one of the team’s top prospects and a fixture in top-100 prospect rankings until he lost his prospect status due to throwing enough major league innings.

• Made his major league debut in 2013 at just 20 years old.

• From 2013 to 2016 while with the Mariners, Walker went 22-22 with a 4.18 ERA in 357 innings. He had 322 strikeouts and walked 99.

• Was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks along with shortstop Ketel Marte for shortstop Jean Segura and outfielder Mitch Haniger.

• Went 9-9 with a 3.49 ERA in 157.1 innings in 28 starts in 2017.

• Threw just 13 innings in 2018 before undergoing Tommy John Surgery.

• Missed of 2019, appearing in just one game in September, where he threw 1 scoreless inning.

• Was non-tendered by Arizona in December.

• Walker now joins a Mariners rotation that will likely feature Marco Gonzales, Yusei Kikuchi, Justus Sheffield and Kendall Graveman when opening day rolls around. The team also has prospects Justin Dunn and Logan Gilbert who will be trying to earn big league playing time in 2020.

Follow’s Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

Mariners extend spring training invites to 4, including Wei-Yin Chen

Date Starting Pitcher
Friday, May 20 @ 4:10 pm Mariners' Robbie Ray vs. Red Sox' Michael Wacha

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
High 61° | Low 43°
Mariners are on the road.
Mariners at Red Sox today at 1:10pm

Seattle Mariners

Mariners Scott Servais Jerry Dipoto...
Brandon Gustafson

Dipoto: Mariners’ trade deadline approach, balancing depth and playing young guys

Jerry Dipoto broke down the Mariners' plan with the trade deadline and maintaining the tough balance of depth and key young players.
17 hours ago
The Associated Press

Story hits 3 homers for Red Sox in 12-6 win over Mariners

Trevor Story had three homers, four hits and seven RBIs to help the Boston Red Sox rally from a four-run deficit to beat the Mariners 12-6.
2 days ago
Mariners Jarred Kelenic...
Brandon Gustafson

Dipoto: Mariners looking for Kelenic to ‘have fun,’ not specific changes in AAA

Jerry Dipoto explained what the Mariners are looking for from Jarred Kelenic in Triple-A, and it has more to do with mentality than results.
2 days ago
Mariners Kyle Lewis...
Brent Stecker

Mariners’ Kyle Lewis swinging bat well, ‘hopefully really close’ to return

The 20 days of Kyle Lewis' rehab stint with Triple-A Tacoma is nearly up. Will he be back with the Mariners soon? GM Jerry Dipoto provided an update Thursday.
2 days ago
Mariners Paul Sewald...
Brandon Gustafson

Paul Sewald: ‘No panic’ in Mariners’ clubhouse despite tough May

Despite a rough start, Paul Sewald made it clear to Jake and Stacy that the Mariners are "not lost" and expects they will get hot soon.
2 days ago
Mariners Julio Rodríguez...
Brent Stecker

Are Mariners’ struggles a sign their timeline to contend is off?

Were expectations for the Mariners to make the playoffs this year too eager? Jake and Stacy had a deep discussion about where the team stands.
3 days ago
A closer look at Taijuan Walker, who is rejoining Mariners’ rotation