The New York Mets are looking everywhere for a new second baseman, with the trade market a popular destination in rumors. The team has been linked to potential trades for Dee Gordon, Brian Dozier, Ian Kinsler, and Jason Kipnis. Those deals make sense for the Mets since there aren’t a ton of second base options in free agency. One player on the free agent market who could make sense for the Mets is Neil Walker, who was their second baseman for most of the past two years before getting traded away to Milwaukee in August. Several Mets’ officials are considering a reunion with Walker, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports, but it isn’t clear yet if Walker is interested in returning to Queens.
Walker drew a ton of praise from team officials for his intangibles and leadership qualities, things the Mets really need in a clubhouse that has suddenly gotten much younger. The big issue that could block a reunion with Walker, who batted .267 with 14 homers and 49 RBI’s in 111 games last season, is sour feelings on Walker’s part. Walker and the Mets were discussing a contract extension last spring, but talks broke down late in spring, leaving a bad taste in Walker’s mouth. That doesn’t mean that the Mets wouldn’t be able to negotiate a deal with Walker, but rather suggests their history with him could make talks more difficult to complete. Part of the appeal of signing a free agent like Walker is to allow the team to save its few trade chips to address other areas of the team, such as the outfield or pitching staff. It remains to be seen how the Mets will look to fill their second base hole going forward.