Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports that the Mets and second baseman Neil Walker haven’t had any “substantive discussions” about a long-term contract extension. Walker is currently deliberating whether or not to accept the Mets’ $17.2 million qualifying offer. He has until Monday to decide.
Walker, 31, had a solid season with the Mets after coming over in a trade from the Pirates last winter. He hit .282/.347/.476 with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 458 plate appearances. He missed the final five weeks of the season due to a herniated disc. He underwent surgery in September.
The QO would almost certainly guarantee a higher annual salary than Walker would get in a multi-year deal as a free agent and it’s unlikely the Mets would match that on a multi-year pact. Walker could use the 2017 season to bolster his value and seek a better multi-year deal next offseason. However, he does have his age to consider and the fact that back injuries rarely go away for good.