Ike Davis confident he can avoid ankle surgery

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We may finally have some resolution in the great Ike Davis ankle saga of 2011.

Davis, who hasn’t played since May 11 due to a bone bruise in his left ankle, told Anthony DiComo of MLB.com today that he is confident he will be able to avoid surgery. The 24-year-old first baseman has been pain-free for the past two weeks and resumed baseball activities over the weekend.

“Right now, all we can do is try to do the best thing for my career,” he said. “The best thing is not to have surgery right now. If it stays like this, I won’t have to.”

Davis still needs to visit team doctors when the Mets return home to New York later this week, but barring a setback, he plans to have a normal offseason before gearing up for spring training.

We’ll never know what Davis would have done had he played the entire season, but he was off to a tremendous start before his freak collision with teammate David Wright, batting .302/.383/.543 with seven home runs, 25 RBI and a .925 OPS over his first 149 plate appearances. The Mets are hoping 2012 isn’t nearly as cruel.

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.