Diamondbacks non-tender starting pitcher Taijuan Walker
The Arizona Diamondbacks have non-tendered starting pitcher Taijuan Walker, according to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro.
Walker, 26, had Tommy John Surgery in mid-April of 2018. He made his return for the D-backs in the last game of the season on Sept. 29, throwing one scoreless inning and 15 pitches.
Spotrac estimated Walker’s contract to be worth roughly $5 million for 2020 before becoming a free agent in 2021. The D-backs also non-tendered outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and catcher Caleb Joseph.
Walker appeared in three games last year before injuring his throwing elbow. He allowed five earned runs in 13.0 innings before the injury ended his season in a start on April 14 of that year against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In 2017, Walker’s first year with the Diamondbacks after being acquired in a trade from the Seattle Mariners, the pitcher made 28 starts, finishing the season with a 3.49 ERA and 1.33 WHIP.
Walker was a part of the deal in which the D-backs also acquired Ketel Marte in exchange for Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger and Zac Curtis.
Segura was an All-Star in 2017 before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies last offseason while Mitch Haniger was an All-Star in 2018 and had an injury-riddled year this past season. Curtis is currently a free agent.
Marte, meanwhile, has developed into a star for the D-backs this season, hitting .329 with an OPS of .981 and leading the National League in hits with 187 before being ruled out for the rest of the year on Sept. 20 due to a back injury.
The rotation has gone through plenty of changes since the last time Walker pitched a full season for the 93-win D-backs in 2017.
Patrick Corbin signed with the Washington Nationals last offseason, Zack Greinke was dealt at the trade deadline, Shelby Miller was not re-signed and his replacement that season, Zack Godley, was designated for assignment in August. Walker and Robbie Ray are the two lone returning starters from that playoff team.
Ray, Mike Leake, Merrill Kelly, Zac Gallen, Luke Weaver and Alex Young are set to come back and fill out the rotation next season.