Although he came to Cubs camp earlier this week to throw for members of the front office, big righty Taijuan Walker will not be the next member of the Cubs’ Reclamation and Pitch Lab University.
Walker was at camp with the Mariners today and tweeted this:
Reports later indicated that, yeah, he’s returning to the organization that drafted him:
— Seattle Times Sports (@SeaTimesSports) February 12, 2020
Per previous reports, Walker had a “standing offer” to sign a big league deal with the Mariners and slide right into their rotation, despite two years missed with Tommy John surgery and then shoulder issues.
I suspect Walker (and the Cubs) was just making sure there wouldn’t be a better offer forthcoming from other suitors before going where he was comfortable. To be honest, it would’ve been a shock if he got a big league deal from the Cubs at the moment, given the uncertainty of his near-term future and the Cubs’ financial shackles.
UPDATE: Yup, it’s a big league deal for a couple million:
Pitcher Taijuan Walker and the Seattle Mariners are in agreement on a one-year, $2 million contract, league sources tell ESPN. Walker can earn up to $3 million total based on incentives.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 12, 2020