AP source: Taijuan Walker, Mets strike $20M, 2-year deal

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NEW YORK — The Mets made a late addition to their starting rotation, agreeing to a $20 million, two-year contract with right-hander Taijuan Walker, a person familiar with the negotiations said.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday because the agreement was subject to a successful physical.

The 28-year-old joins a rotation headed by two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom.

New York has displayed a willingness to spend under new owner Steven Cohen, retaining Marcus Stroman with an $18.9 million qualifying offer and acquiring Carlos Carrasco from Cleveland in a trade along with All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor for a rotation also projected to include David Peterson.

The team hopes to get starter Noah Syndergaard back as soon as June. He is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery last March.

Walker has a five-pitch repertoire with a 93 mph fastball mixed among sliders, split-finger fastballs, sinkers and curveballs.

He was 4-3 with a 2.70 ERA over 11 starts during the pandemic-shortened season for Seattle and Toronto, which acquired him Aug. 27 for a player to be named, who became outfielder prospect Alberto Rodriguez.

Walker is 35-34 with a 3.84 ERA in 105 starts and three relief appearances over eight seasons with Seattle (2013-16, 2020), Arizona (2017-19) and Toronto.

New York was fourth in the NL East at 26-34 last year in the final season of ownership by the Wilpon and Katz families, who sold the Mets to Cohen on Nov. 6 for $2.4 billion.

The Mets have won just two World Series titles, in 1969 and 1986, and last won a pennant in 2015.

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Ronald Blum, The Associated Press