Monday, November 14, 2016

Neil Walker Accepts Mets’ Qualifying Offer; Yoenis Cespedes Rejects It
Second baseman Neil Walker informed the Mets just before a 5 p.m. deadline on Monday that he would accept a $17.2 million qualifying offer for 2017, a decision that keeps one of the team’s two most important free agents in Queens.

The other, the star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, rejected the Mets’ qualifying offer, as expected, making him perhaps the most attractive free agent on the market.

Although Cespedes declined the offer, that does not preclude the Mets from continuing to pursue him. General Manager Sandy Alderson made clear last week at the annual general managers’ meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz., that the team was serious about re-signing Cespedes.

Alderson had also said the Mets wanted to keep Walker, 31, for next season — and beyond that, if possible. Walker, a switch-hitter, replaced Daniel Murphy at second base in 2016, hitting a team-leading .282 with an .823 on-base plus slugging percentage, second on the team only to Cespedes’s .884. Walker also hit 23 home runs and emerged as a clubhouse leader.
I like Walker, but his injury is a tough one to come back from and with Reyes and TJ Rivera around for next to nothing and capable of playing 2nd base, I figured that the Mets could save some money and put it on a quality relief pitcher instead. Now the question is: do you possibly move Walker to 1st base, let Reyes play 2nd full-time? Because I don't see how Reyes doesn't leadoff and play every day.

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