By Gem Tablak
Before the season even started, I was positive that Walker would be a 1 year filler, 2 at most for Dilson Herrera who then at the time was a top Mets farmhand that was destined to take over 2nd base once the veteran Walker would either decline the QO, Accept it & have him stick around in Flushing for a minimum of 1 more season or not have the QO offered to him at all, which would entail the Mets missing out on a compensation pick.
Missing out on the pick does suck but if you really want to look at the bright side, Walker was acquired for Niese & Niese will not qualify for a QO in the upcoming offseason. In other words, Alderson stole Walker from the Pirates & if he decides not to offer Walker a QO for whatever reason, losing the compensation pick was only at the expense of trading away Niese.
Walker has had issues prior to the 2016 season with his back & the Mets have a bad history with players & back injuries for a few years now. However, the Mets management & front office is downplaying the injury yet again saying that it shouldn’t have any effects on his career in the long term. We’ve heard it before & I don’t think this will be the last time.
One thing I can not deny is the leadership that Walker has brought to the Mets. While Walker doesn’t seem like the “RaRa” type leader that vocalizes his leadership, he’s the kind of player that leaves it all on the field & sometimes leading by example is just as sufficient, if not more. But the team just can’t afford to carry another injury liability in such an important time in Mets existence.
So I’m sure the Mets are taking a strong look at TJ Rivera & even a player like Matt Reynolds. Wilmer Flores will always be in the mix as long as he’s on the team & the Mets do have Gavin Cecchini destined to get a shot at the major league level at some point in the next 2 seasons. We’ve been so accustomed to having a stocked farm when it comes to pitchers but we shouldn’t sleep on our position players. While we might not have the next “Altuve” around, we might have another “Edgardo Aldonzo” or “Daniel Murphy” somewhere in the system… At least I freakin’ hope so.