Injured reliever Tyler Kinley gets $6.25M deal from Rockies

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DENVER — Right-hander Tyler Kinley and the Colorado Rockies agreed Friday to a $6.25 million, three-year contract, a deal that could increase to $9.25 million if he becomes the team’s closer when he returns from elbow surgery.

Kinley gets $1.2 million next year and $1.3 million in 2024, which would have been his last year before free-agent eligibility. He has a $3 million salary in 2025, and the Rockies have a $5 million team option for 2026 with a $750,000 buyout.

His 2025 salary and the 2026 option price can increase by $1.5 million each for games finished in the previous season: $500,000 each for 20, 25 and 30.

Kinley became a setup man for closer Daniel Bard this season, compiling a 0.75 ERA while striking out 27 and walking six in 24 innings. He didn’t pitch after June 8 when an MRI revealed a torn flexor tendon in his pitching elbow. He had surgery in July with Texas Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister, and is expected to miss a significant part of 2023.

Kinley is 7-6 with a 4.44 ERA in parts of five major league seasons with Minnesota (2018), Miami (2018-19) and Colorado (2020-22).

Colorado also claimed left-hander Brent Suter off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers.

The 33-year-old Suter went 5-3 with a 3.78 ERA in 54 appearances this past season. He struck out 53 and walked 22 in 66 2/3 innings.

Suter had spent his entire big league career with Milwaukee, making his debut in 2016. He was the longest-tenured Brewer and had served as the team’s player representative.

Suter owns a 36-19 record and 3.51 ERA in 196 career appearances, including 39 starts. He has 338 strikeouts and 98 walks in 394 2/3 innings.

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.