BREAKING: Yankees sign Neil Walker, designate Jake Cave for assignment
According to Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan, the Yankees have agreed to a deal with free agent Neil Walker.
Source: Second baseman Neil Walker has agreed to a deal with the New York Yankees. Still pending a physical.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 12, 2018
The deal is for one year and $5 million, according to FanRag’s Jon Heyman, and is still pending a physical.
|Benny Sieu / USA Today Sports|
This move comes as a bit of a head scratcher, as the Yankees are already loaded with second base options. They currently have Gleyber Torres, Tyler Wade, Ronald Torreyes, Brandon Drury, Danny Espinosa, and Jace Peterson in camp for Spring Training, and even though Espinosa and Peterson are long shots to make the team, the move is still a bit confusing. However, with Torres struggling so far this spring, having only gone 2-23 (.087), and Wade suffering a wrist injury a few days ago, Walker may have been signed as insurance.
With the Mets and Brewers in 2017, Walker hit .265/.362/.439 (114 wRC+), with 14 homers, 49 RBIs, 59 runs, and a 2.1 WAR in 448 plate appearances. Overall he has put up very solid numbers in his career, posting at least 2.1 WAR in every season in the majors since 2010, with his career high being 3.7 in 2016 with the Mets, where he posted a slash line of .282/.347/.476, with 23 homers, 76 RBis, 74 runs, and a 122 wRC+ in 458 plate appearances. His career slash line of .272/.341/.437 (115 wRC+) is very solid, and should he be a starter for the Yankees in 2018, his numbers could and should reflect his career numbers.
In order to make room for Walker on the 40-man roster, outfielder Jake Cave was designated for assignment, which is also a bit of a shock, as he was added to the 40-man roster during the offseason as protection from the Rule 5 Draft. The 25 year-old hit .305/.351/.542, with 20 homers and 26 doubles with both AA Trenton and AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2017, but so far in Spring Training has managed just a .158/.304/.211 slash line.
Article by: Alex Weir