Supervisor Aaron Boone didn’t wish to delve deeply into what the acquisition of Walker might imply, because it was not but official when he spoke Monday afternoon. However when requested if it was an indication that Torres and Wade weren’t fairly prepared, Boone stated: “No. I feel that’s studying into it slightly an excessive amount of.”
Nonetheless, within the 32-year-old Walker, the Yankees are clearly getting a confirmed commodity — they pursued him final season on the non-waiver commerce deadline, that they had repeated discussions with earlier this winter, and he posted a .801 on-base-plus slugging proportion with the Mets and Milwaukee Brewers round a stint on the disabled listing with a hamstring harm.
Although Walker is a switch-hitter, he has been considerably simpler as a left-handed hitter — throughout his profession and final season. He posted a .842 O.P.S. batting left-handed final season (in comparison with .601 hitting right-handed) and all 13 homers got here from the left aspect. He might additionally spell Brandon Drury, who has hit left-handers and right-handers at about the identical fee, at third base and Greg Hen at first base.
If Walker will not be within the lineup on opening day, it might possible be a results of his late begin to spring coaching. Cashman stated the Yankees didn’t wish to rush him.
“He has been advised that he’s a hungry participant, he’s an on a regular basis kind man,” Cashman stated. “We’re not going to douse his aggressive spirit.”
The signing of Walker — at such a reduced fee — is one other signal of the depressed market totally free brokers this winter. He made $17 million final season after accepting a qualifying provide from the Mets.
Walker’s agent had spoken with the Yankees primarily about being their major third baseman. However his hopes of touchdown in New York appeared to evaporate three weeks in the past when the Yankees swung a deal for Drury, whose major-league minimal wage required a extra modest monetary dedication. The Yankees, who’re striving to remain beneath the $197 million luxurious tax threshold, now have about $15 million to spend on beginning pitching or different reinforcements this season.
Walker, who had been understanding lately at a camp for unsigned free brokers in close by Bradenton, Fla., was searching for a multiyear contract however till Saturday didn’t have a proposal.
“You concentrate on a few of the guys which are nonetheless on the market and a few of the guys that form of needed to grind out the low season, they’re all very related tales,” stated Walker, who wished a chance play for a successful group. “I knew it was a matter of time. It wasn’t a matter of if, it was a matter of when.”
It’s becoming maybe that Walker arrived in time to observe the Yankees exhibition sport Monday evening towards the Minnesota Twins, who’ve additionally taken benefit of the shrinking marketplace for veteran free-agent expertise. The Twins have added designated hitter Logan Morrison ($6.5 million), beginning pitcher Lance Lynn ($12 million) and relievers Fernando Rodney (4.5 million), Addison Reed ($8.25 million) and Zack Duke ($2.2 million).
Whereas the Yankees seem like achieved purchasing earlier than the beginning of the season, what seemed to be an both/or selection not too way back — Drury or Walker — turned each.
“All I can inform you is that if we see one thing that is sensible, then we’ll get aggressive on it,” Cashman stated.
To clear room on the 40-man roster for Neil Walker, the Yankees designated outfielder Jake Cave for task. Infielder Kyle Holder was reassigned to minor-league camp.