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Report: Yankees were only team to offer Neil Walker a major league contract


On Monday morning, it was reported that the Yankees signed infielder Neil Walker to a one-year, $5 million contract. Marc Carig of The Athletic reports that the Yankees were the only team to make Walker an offer this offseason. Presumably, Carig means a major league offer as the Royals offered Walker a minor league deal and he understandably turned it down.

That detail comes as quite a surprise. Walker is 32 years old and has battled injuries over the last two years, but he’s one of the better-hitting infielders around and provides a lot of versatility with the ability to play second base as well as first and third base. That no team felt it could use Walker enough to not even bother making an offer is mind-boggling.

Last season, between the Mets and Brewers, Walker hit .265/.362/.439 with 14 home runs, 49 RBI, and 59 runs scored in 448 plate appearances. He missed about six weeks last summer dealing with a back injury. The Brewers, knowingly acquiring Walker with his back issue, enjoyed the .843 OPS he posted in 38 games between mid-August and the end of the season.

Everyone has been tiptoeing around the word “collusion” with all of the talk about labor issues over the last few months. This isn’t, by itself, evidence of collusion, but it sure is a red flag.

Justin Turner suffers broken wrist after being hit by a pitch

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Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.

Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.

Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.