That makes New York's lineup that much more imposing come Opening Day. With AP Photos.A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that free-agent infielder Neil Walker and the New York Yankees are close to a one-year contract worth about $5 million. His signing could signal the Yankees' intent to have touted prospects Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres begin the year in the Minor Leagues."I don't control that", Torres said.
One of the dozens of free agents still waiting to be signed after a slow (which is putting it mildly) offseason, the Walker deal rescues another veteran from the recently closed free-agent spring training camp. Miguel Andujar, 23, was slated to start at third base, but NY traded for Brandon Drury to take over the hot corner. Walker's $5 million allows them to stay under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold and still have money to add a mid-season acquisition.
Walker, 32, is a nine-year veteran who last played for the Milwaukee Brewers after being traded from the crosstown New York Mets in August. Walker has recorded a league-adjusted OPS that ranked above average in each of his eight full Major League seasons, and he brings a competent glove as well.The Yankees showed interest in Walker a year ago prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline, seeking insurance behind Greg Bird at first base, but they were unwilling to meet the Mets' asking price.
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Walker, 32, is a 9-year Major League Baseball veteran who is a career.272 hitter and is known for his above-average defense.
Now Walker joins a Yankees team that has plenty of depth within its infield, though he will likely be the starter at second base.