The Braves will not sign first-round draft pick Carter Stewart

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The Braves failed to reach an agreement with right-hander Carter Stewart prior to the 5 PM EST signing deadline on Friday, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman. The 18-year-old pitcher was selected in the first round of June’s amateur draft and was reportedly seeking $4.5 million of the $4.98 million slot value he generated. The club was said to have offered something in the $2 million range.

Signing bonus disputes aside, however, the primary reason Stewart was not picked up by the Braves had more to do with the results of his physical. According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, the young pitcher had a “wrist ailment” that gave the team considerable pause when it came time to put pen to paper. It’s not clear how severe the injury is, or how it might continue to affect Stewart’s path to the majors in the years to come, but it clearly jeopardized the elite curveball and power pitcher status that made him stand out so clearly during the first round this summer.

The right-hander was one of four draft picks that went unsigned by the deadline. The other three — high schoolers Matt McLain (Diamondbacks), J.T. Ginn (Dodgers), and Gunnar Hoglund (Pirates) — have elected to attend their respective universities in 2019. As compensation for offering at least 40 percent of each player’s slot value, the Braves are slated to receive the ninth pick in the 2019 draft, while the Diamondbacks will receive no. 26, the Dodgers no. 31, and the Pirates no. 37.

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

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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.