The Mets saw another one of their starting pitchers that opted out of their contract this offseason sign elsewhere.
Taijuan Walker and the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a four-year, $72 million deal on Tuesday night, ending the right-hander’s two-year stay in Queens.
The 30-year-old put together a strong 2022 season with the Mets, going 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA with 132 strikeouts in 157.1 innings pitched. He also proved to be a far more consistent pitcher compared to 2021 when he posted a 7.13 ERA over his final 13 starts of the season.
After opting out of his deal last month, Walker was rarely linked to a potential return to the Mets, who have plenty of work to do still to fill out their rotation.
Justin Verlander’s signature replaces Jacob deGrom atop the pitching staff after the latter bolted for the Texas Rangers on Friday, but a sizable hole still remains in the No. 3 or 4 spot of the rotation. Verlander, Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco, and David Peterson are under contract for next season. Joey Lucchesi and Tylor Megill are also options secure for 2023.