On Wednesday, it was announced that free agent right-hander Taijuan Walker would re-join the team for whom he made his major-league debut with, the Seattle Mariners. The contract is an affordable one-year deal worth $2 million guaranteed. Walker can make $1 million in additional incentives.
The 27-year-old right-handed pitcher had been non-tendered by the Arizona Diamondbacks after missing the better part of the last two seasons due to Tommy John surgery and a bad shoulder strain. While his health is an obvious question mark, he was healthy enough to pitch in a major-league game last season and by all accounts has had a regular offseason, making him a strong candidate to have somewhat of a comeback campaign. While it should be noted that he lost about one mph on his fastball from 2018 to 2019, that could’ve simply been the result of some lingering effects from the shoulder strain.
The Mariners are a good landing spot for Walker, as their rotation is rather unproven. Beyond left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales, the Mariners rotation features some considerable upside but with very high risk. Walker joins a rotation mix including Yusei Kikuchi, Justin Dunn, Kendall Graveman,