The Philadelphia Phillies reportedly bolstered its rotation on Tuesday after already striking big with the addition of shortstop Trea Turner.
The Phillies signed right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker to a four-year, $72 million deal, according to multiple reports. Walker will leave the New York Mets for the Phillies following the route new teammate Zack Wheeler took before the start of the 2020 season.
The 30-year-old righty is coming off the best two seasons of his career. In 2022, he won a career-high 12 games with a 3.49 ERA and 132 strikeouts. He was an All-Star in 2021 as he struck out 146 batters with a 4.47 ERA. He had signed with the Mets before the start of the 2021 season.
Walker’s agent, Scott Boras, talked up his client’s market ahead of the reported deal.
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“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.”
The Phillies won the National League pennant in 2022 behind a rotation of Wheeler and Aaron Nola.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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