Neil Walker is one of three remaining free agents from the 2017 Milwaukee Brewers squad. It seemed unlikely that he would return before but this latest rumor just about guarantees it.
Jon Heyman is reporting that Neil Walker is looking for a three or four year deal in free agency. He also said that the Los Angeles Angels have “looked at” Walker.
A four year deal might be a little too ambitious for a 32 year old second baseman. But every free agent starts out with ambitious contract expectations. Heck, JD Martinez original asking price is at seven years and $210 million. He knows that won’t happen but why not start big?
A three year deal is definitely in the realm of possibility for Walker. The Angels are one of the potential landing spots we’ve listed for him. He’s been a productive bat throughout his career and now with a chance to test free agency for the first time in his career, he will look to get his first big payday.
Walker played well down the stretch for the Milwaukee Brewers, hitting .267/.409/.433 with four homers and 13 RBIs in his 38 games in a Brewers uniform. His walk rate was phenomenal, drawing a free pass in 18.8% of his plate appearances. He added striking out in only 20.1% of his plate appearances. While this is a small sample size, over the whole season, Walker’s walk rate was the highest of his career at 12.3%.
If Walker is to return to the Brewers, it would likely only be on a one year deal to try to increase his value. But that seems highly unlikely at this point. He is the top free agent second baseman on the market. The Angels are probably more willing to give him a multi-year deal than the Brewers are.
If he’s looking for a three or four year deal and gets offers from teams in that range, you can forget about Walker rejoining the Crew. David Stearns will not guarantee that many years for Walker. Mauricio Dubon, Isan Diaz, and Keston Hiura are all on the fast track to the big leagues.
There’s a slim chance Stearns could offer a two year deal for Walker but if he’s looking for three or four years, he is as good as gone.
With the return of Eric Sogard, the Milwaukee Brewers have insurance at the second base position. They’re still looking for upgrades on the market and could make a move for a second baseman any day now. It just won’t be Neil Walker.