Opinion: Taijuan Walker Should be Nats' Free Agent Target
The Nationals likely will not spend much money this winter. Between the rebuild, and sale of the team, ownership has no reason to splurge on a big ticket free agent. That being said, the team still has a lot of holes to fill. If the Nats were going to add one player, it would be Taijuan Walker.
First, let's discuss what Walker brings to the table. Walker, a 30 year old right hander tossed 157 innings for the Mets with an ERA of 3.49, and a SIERA just over 4, and his 20.3% K rate, and 6.9% Walk rate add confidence. Those numbers are all very good, but honestly kind of overqualified for what he needs to bring: stability.
Stability is something the rotation sorely lacks, as the expected ace, MacKenzie Gore has had considerable injury concerns, Cade Cavalli is expected to be a big part of this rotation despite only making one MLB start, and don’t even get me started on Patrick Corbin, and Stephen Strasburg. Taijuan Walker would become the backbone of the rotation, which would take pressure off the young guys, and off the bullpen.
Walker would significantly lengthen, and strengthen the rotation, and the piece de resistance, the Nats wouldn’t have to mortgage their future at all for him, as the Mets didn’t extend the qualifying offer to him, so no draft pick would be lost by signing him! There is no better player for the Nationals to sign this offseason than Taijuan Walker.