Report: Phillies sign starter Taijuan Walker to 4-year contract

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Phillies pitcher Taijuan Walker
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 20: Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Taijuan Walker (00) throws during the first inning of the Major League Baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays on September 20, 2020 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Coming into the offseason, the 2 biggest pieces the Phillies needed were a shortstop and a starting pitcher. On Monday, the Phillies signed Trea Turner to fill their shortstop needs.

Just a day later, the Phillies landed their 4th starter.

What can the Phillies expect?

The Phillies, as reported by Jeff Passan, are signing Taijuan Walker away from the New York Mets. As a Met, Walker went 19-16 with a 3.98 ERA and a 1.189 WHIP.

In 2021, Walker got his first career All-Star nod. That season was a tale of to halves for Walker. Before the mid-summer classic, Walker had a 2.66 ERA with a 3.02 FIP. After the All-Star Game, that turned into a 7.13 ERA and 6.79 FIP.

2022 was a more consistent year for Walker. He had a 3.49 ERA on the season. He posted a 2.6 bWAR and had a 12-5 record. There was a 2nd half drop-off as he had a 4.80 ERA.

In two games in Citizens Bank Park, Walker allowed six runs in 6IP in 2022. In 2021, he wasn’t much better, allowing seven runs in 12IP.

The contract will be for four years.

The AAV for the deal will be $18 million. Between Turner and Walker, the Phillies have added $45.3 million that will go against the luxury tax in 2023.

Walker’s arsenal includes a 4-seamer, sinker, splitter, slider, curveball, and cutter. He uses the 4-seamer and splitter over 25% each. His fastball averages 94 MPH.

Walker will most likely be slotted behind Ranger Suarez as the Phillies’ 4th starter with Bailey Falter pitching every 5th day. He’d split up the two lefties.

That could change later in the season as the Phillies’ top prospect is knocking at the door to the major league level. Andrew Painter made it all the way to Double-A Reading and had a 1.56 ERA across 3 levels.

Photo Credit: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire