Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker will be a free agent next offseason, making him a potential trade candidate, and Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles have talked to the Pirates about acquiring the 30-year-old switch-hitter.
Encina says it’s unclear how far along talks got, but if nothing else it suggests the Pirates are willing to move Walker for the right price. He’s expected to make around $10 million in 2016 via arbitration after hitting .269 with 16 homers and a .756 OPS in 151 games this year.
Walker has spent his entire professional career in the Pirates organization. He was the 11th overall pick in the 2004 draft out of high school, cracked Baseball America’s annual top-100 prospects list four times, and has been the team’s starting second baseman since 2010.