Back when the Pirates signed Jose Tabata to a long-term contract extension in August there was talk of them doing the same with Neil Walker, but Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that those negotiations never went anywhere.
According to Biertempfel the two sides were “deep in talks” as of late August, but “appear to have cooled.”
Walker isn’t even eligible for arbitration yet and the Pirates have him under team control through 2016 as is, so there’s really no need to commit guaranteed money to a 25-year-old who hit .273 with 12 homers and a .742 OPS in 159 games and is nowhere near free agency.
The Rockies have signed free agent outfielder/infielder Ian Desmond for five years and $70 million.
Desmond, 31, played his first season as a full-time outfielder with the Rangers in 2016. Before that he was the Nationals shortstop. He’ll almost certainly be an outfielder in Colorado, as the Rockies have Trevor Story at short.
Desmond hit .285/.335/.446 with 22 home runs, 86 RBI, 107 runs scored, and 21 stolen bases in 677 plate appearances. The Rangers had placed a qualifying offer on him which he rejected, so the Rockies will have to give up their first round pick in the 2017 draft, which is 11th overall. That’s the highest pick a team can surrender under the qualifying offer system, as the first ten picks in the draft are protected.
Ken Rosenthal reports that the Marlins have signed lefty Jeff Locke. Terms have yet to be disclosed.
Locke was non-tendered by the Pirates last week after putting up a 5.44 ERA over 127.3 innings in 2016. He’s just 29 and, even if he’s never been super great or anything, he has pitched better in the past, posting a career 4.16 ERA before last season.