Mets plan to give Travis d’Arnaud significant playing time for remainder of the season

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that the Mets plan to give rookie catcher Travis d’Arnaud significant playing time even when John Buck returns from paternity leave. He went 0-for-2 with two walks in the series finale against the Padres this afternoon, maintaining his line on the season at .000/.500/.000 in eight plate appearances over his first two games.

In 78 plate appearances with Triple-A Las Vegas prior to his promotion, d’Arnaud was hitting .304 with a .487 on-base percentage and nearly twice as many walks as strikeouts. He had previously missed a significant portion of the season, between April 17 and August 9, due to a fractured metatarsal in his left foot.

d’Arnaud, rated the #6 overall prospect in baseball entering the season by MLB.com, was one piece that came to the Mets in the R.A. Dickey trade with the Blue Jays. He was joined by prospects Noah Syndergaard and Wuilmer Becerra, as well as the veteran Buck.

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.