Drew talks NL Central, Pujols free agency, and poor iPhone reception on the Pitchers Hit 8th Podcast

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You’ll have to excuse the self-promotion here, but it’s Sunday morning and I’m sure you’ve heard enough about Jorge Posada at this point.

I spent about 45 minutes chatting with a couple of Cardinals bloggers this past Wednesday for the first episode of their new Pitchers Hit 8th Podcast. We discussed the different teams in the National League Central, Ryan Theriot’s shaky defense at shortstop, Albert Pujols’ contract situation, poor iPhone service, Chris Carpenter’s early struggles, and more.

If you can handle listening to my voice, which is more Pauly Shore than Sam Elliot unfortunately, you might get some good Cardinals chatter.

Pitchers Hit 8th Podcast

Thanks to Josh and Nick for having me. They plan on producing a show every couple of weeks, so subscribe on iTunes if you like what you hear. And check out the Pitchers Hit 8th blog for all sorts of smart analysis.

Phillies, RHP Taijuan Walker reportedly agree to 4-year deal

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO – The active Philadelphia Phillies added Taijuan Walker to their rotation on Tuesday, agreeing to a $72 million, four-year contract with the right-hander.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the move to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

It was the second major free-agent score for the Phillies at the winter meetings after they reeled in shortstop Trea Turner on Monday with a $300 million, 11-year deal. Walker and Turner join a Phillies team that made it to the World Series this year before losing to the Houston Astros.

The 30-year-old Walker went 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA in 29 starts this season for the New York Mets, one of Philadelphia’s biggest NL East rivals. He slots into a rotation fronted by Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola.

The Phillies recently lost pitcher Zach Eflin in free agency to Tampa Bay.

Asked about the market for Walker earlier in the day, agent Scott Boras said it was robust.

“As you can see in the marketplace, there’s a whole number of pitchers that are throwing 60 and 70 innings that have been pursued, probably with the exception of (Jacob) deGrom, at the lower end of threshold around $13-15 million a year because the demand for quality pitching is so great,” Boras said.

“So, Tai … is one of the younger ones, one of the more durable ones and we expect him to be pursued greatly as his market unfolds.”

Walker was selected by Seattle with the No. 43 pick in the 2010 amateur draft. He made his big league debut with the Mariners in 2013.

Walker signed with New York as a free agent in February 2021. He turned down a $7.5 million player option last month in favor of a $3 million buyout, making his deal worth $17 million over two seasons.

The 6-foot-4 Walker made the All-Star team for the first time in 2021, putting together a fast start before fading to a 7-11 record with a 4.47 ERA in 30 games, 29 starts.