Mariners reunion with Taijuan Walker is on with 1-year deal
Taijuan Walker provided a bit of news on the first day of Mariners pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.
Less than an hour after he was seen in camp in Peoria, Ariz., the 27-year-old Walker tweeted out what many Mariners fans would call good news. The club later confirmed the deal in an announcement Wednesday afternoon. Walker is now rejoining the team over three years after Seattle traded him to Arizona.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Walker and the Mariners are in agreement on a one-year, $2 million deal, with the potential to earn another million in incentives.
🗣️ He's baaaa-aaaack!
The Mariners have signed right-handed pitcher @tai_walker to a 2020 Major League contract.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) February 12, 2020
The two sides have kept in contact throughout the offseason with the Mariners expressing interest immediately after he was non-tendered by the Diamondbacks in early December. Walker has thrown for a number of teams in the past 10 days with a source confirming that the Mariners had seen him throw multiple bullpens. On Tuesday he arrived at the Mariners Spring Training complex and spoke with a number of staff and media members.
Tommy John Surgery and the ensuing recovery had limited Walker to just 13 innings with the D-backs since the 2017 season, when he threw in 157 1/3 innings and posted a 3.49 ERA with averages of 8.4 strikeouts, 3.5 walks and 0.97 home runs per nine innings. Rather than take on his contract in his final year of arbitration eligibility, Arizona non-tendered Walker, making him a free agent.
While there was interest from other teams, the Mariners present Walker with an excellent opportunity to re-establish himself in 2020 due to their current situation of rebuilding. There is a spot available for him in the rotation and he can be brought along slowly to start if necessary.
To make room for Walker on the 40-man roster, the team place reliever Austin Adams on the 60-day injured list.