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Report: Mets interested in re-signing Neil Walker


Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that Mets’ officials have expressed interest in signing free agent second baseman Neil Walker. While the rumor has yet to be confirmed, Walker could be a relatively affordable choice for the club, who cut him loose in a trade to the Brewers in August and are reportedly seeking infield depth again this offseason.

Walker, 32, amassed 2.1 fWAR with the clubs in 2017, slashing .265/.362/.439 with 14 home runs in 448 PA. His production rate took a sharp nosedive from the career-best numbers he put up in 2016, but part of his regression can be traced back to a left hamstring strain, which landed him on the disabled list for over six weeks in June.

The Mets have cast a wide net in their search for second base depth this offseason, with reports linking them to Ian Kinsler, Dee Gordon and others. Walker’s familiarity with the team works in his favor, but as Puma points out, communication broke down between the two sides during extension talks last February and may cast a pall over future contract talks this winter.

Blue Jays could move Jaime Garcia to bullpen

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Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that the Blue Jays are considering moving starter Jaime Garcia to the bullpen. If they go that route, Sam Gaviglio would start in Garcia’s place on Sunday against the Angels.

Garcia, 31, has struggled to a 6.16 ERA with a 56/31 K/BB ratio in 61 1/3 innings over 13 starts this season. Gaviglio, meanwhile, has a 3.75 ERA with 35 striekouts and 11 walks in 36 innings across six starts and two relief appearances for the Jays this year.

Garcia inked a one-year, $10 million contract with the Jays in February. The deal includes a club option for the 2019 season worth $10 million with a $2 million buyout.