Mets Still Happy Neil Walker Took Qualifying Offer?

When Neil Walker took the Mets qualifying offer last month, they said they were happy with the development, even though they knew full well he was worth far less than the $17.2 million they will be paying Walker in 2017. But now that Jay Bruce and/or Curtis Granderson are proving harder to trade than expected, are they still happy?

neil walker
Neil Walker’s contract could be problematic for Mets.

The Mets payroll now stands at an estimated $153 million. That’s about $13 million more than they likely want to spend. If Walker did not take the offer, the Mets would be closer to $135 million, with a good amount of money left to improve the bullpen.

Trading Bruce/Granderson just gets the Mets to where they want to be.

Think about it — are the Mets a better team with Walker at second, only one of Bruce or Granderson, with one traded in a salary dump for a low-cost reliever, or with Wilmer Flores/Jose Reyes at second, both Bruce and Granderson on the team and a couple of mid-priced relievers? I would go with the latter.

It’s not that Neil Walker is not a good player. He is. But $17.2 million is far too much to pay for him, especially for a team that has budget restraints.

But what’s done is done. Now the Mets must make a deal; hopefully, the eventual trade will not weaken the team at the expense of lowering the payroll.

3 thoughts on “Mets Still Happy Neil Walker Took Qualifying Offer?

  • December 17, 2016 at 12:13 am
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    Calculated gamble, if he refused offer they picked up the draft choice. If not they had a solid 2B. Where the plan failed was the miscalculation on Bruce. The salary means he can’t be traded for anything of Value,much less a decent reliever. Eventually he’ll be salary dumped. I’m thinking Indians or O’s.

  • December 17, 2016 at 9:38 am
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    Sandy “The Genius in his own mind” type of move to improve the team. They should have let Bruce and Walker leave and they would have had 30M to spend right there. Let Duda walk and that’s another 8M.

    Sign Encarnacion to a 3 year 50/60M. Yes, I know he was offered 80M and didn’t take it. He won’t find such a deal again and will have to settle for less. That would have given the Mets a much improve lineup with Cespedes followed by Encarnacion. That’s 70hrs right there.

    That combination would have been the the Manny & Papi for us.

  • December 18, 2016 at 12:44 am
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    Hindsight is 20-20.

    Thus far, the Mets miscalculated on Bruce trade but I believe made the right decision on Walker who could have monster year now that his back surgery is behind him.

    After pushing Murphy out the door, it’s good Mets didn’t make the same mistake the following season with Walker.

    Furthermore, Walker emerged as terrific clubhouse leader and really stepped up in that capacity when David went down. Walker is well liked and respected, is good on defense, hits from both sides of the plate, and fills an important middle of the order spot that no in-house second base candidate could playing everyday.

    As for Encarnacion who’s turning 34 in January, I don’t see the fit with the Mets grooming Dominic Smith and Peter Alonso. The Mets view Alonso on fasttrack like Conforto, Maybe they’ll take somewhat longer with him having called up Conforto too soon, but at some point soon, Mets have to get younger in the infield and they have that opportunity beginning in 2018 at first base with Smith and Rosario at SS. Smith has thus far lost 23 pounds this offseason – a very needed weight loss but still needs to lose more on his 6’0″ frame. Down to 235 from a really fat 258.

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