Blue Jays apparently never made an offer to Taijuan Walker at all
Former Blue Jays pitcher Taijuan Walker dropped an interesting little nugget on Tuesday, stating that the Mets were the only team to offer him a contract this past offseason.
We already knew that the Blue Jays didn’t make a serious effort to retain the 28 year old, but I have to admit that I’m surprised they didn’t make an offer of any kind. He was very good for the Blue Jays across six starts after they acquired him for their playoff run last year, posting a 1.37 ERA and a 1.253 WHIP.
To be fair, there’s a very good chance that discussions were had between the Blue Jays and Walker’s agent. Some of the reports from earlier this spring indicated that Walker was looking for a multi-year deal, and it’s not terribly surprising that the Blue Jays wanted to avoid that. That being said, a two-year pact seems pretty reasonable, and right now the Mets are getting a ton of return on their investment.
This season Walker is posting some of the best numbers of his career. After striking out 12 Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night the right-hander is now 6-2 with a 2.12 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP across 12 starts and 68.0 innings. He’s struck out 72 against 24 walks, and he’d holding opposing hitters to a .184 batting average.
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Of course, it’s not as if the Blue Jays didn’t spend money last winter, as they made big moves to acquire George Springer (six years, 150 million), Marcus Semien (one year and 18 million), Kirby Yates (one year, 5.5 million), and more including trading for Steven Matz and his 5.2 million dollar salary. Speaking of the rotation, they were wise to re-sign Robbie Ray to a one-year, eight million dollar pact, and thankfully that decision has worked out beautifully.
In all the rotation is actually in pretty decent shape at the moment. Ray has nearly matched the solid production once again from Hyun Jin Ryu, and Alek Manoah has made a big impact since making his big league debut in late May. Matz has been fairly hot and cold, and the same could be said for Ross Stripling, although he’s been a solid performer of late.
The bigger issue is in the bullpen where the Blue Jays blew yet another game in their series opener against the Yankees on Tuesday night. A guy like Walker wouldn’t help much with that problem, but it’s still pretty interesting to hear that the Jays didn’t at least make a one-year offer. You win some and you lose some I suppose.