The Philadelphia Phillies and right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker have reached agreement on a four-year, $72 million contract, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Tuesday.
A day after reaching a blockbuster deal with shortstop Trea Turner, the Phillies add to their rotation with one of the top pitchers left on the free agent market.
Walker joins Philadelphia after one of the strongest seasons of his career in 2022, when he started 29 games for the New York Mets and posted a 3.49 ERA, 2.6 bWAR and a 1.19 WHIP in 157 innings pitched, striking out 132 batters while walking 45.
The Phillies mark the fifth team of Walker’s major league career, including the Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks, Toronto Blue Jays and Mets.
The 30-year-old righty served as a dependable back-of-the-rotation starter for New York throughout the course of the season before declining his $7.5 million player option for 2023, taking a $3 million buyout to explore free agency. The Mets declined to offer a qualifying offer to Walker.
Walker previously underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018 and missed the entire 2019 season. His 2022 campaign marked his most successful on the mound since undergoing treatment on a partial tear of a UCL in his right elbow.
Walker is the second pitcher to leave the Mets’ rotation, after Jacob deGrom signed with the Texas Rangers. New York subsequently responded by signing Justin Verlander to a two-year, $86 million deal.
Phillies, RHP Taijuan Walker reach 4-year, $72M deal