Neil Walker, Yankees agree to $4M, 1-year deal

FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2018, file photo, Major League Baseball free agent second baseman Neil Walker fields a ground ball during infield drills before a scrimmage game in Bradenton, Fla. A person familiar with the negotiations says free agent infielder Neil Walker and the New York Yankees are close to an agreement on a one-year contract for about $5 million. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday, March 12, 2018, because an agreement would be subject to a successful physical. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

TAMPA, Fla. — Joining the New York Yankees caused Neil Walker to smile, despite a hefty drop in salary.

The free agent infielder agreed Monday to a $4 million, one-year contract, a 77 percent pay cut in a deal that allows New York prospects Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar more time to mature in the minor leagues.

Walker earned $17.2 million last season, when he accepted a qualifying offer from the New York Mets.

"It's certainly a crazy offseason but more than anything my hope was that I'd land somewhere that's going to be competitive and have a chance to win," Walker said. "I'm happy to be here, happy to be on a contending team."

Walker likely will start at second base and Brandon Drury, acquired from Arizona last month, will play third. Walker can make $500,000 in performance bonuses: $125,000 each for 425, 450, 475 and 500 plate appearances.

"It's just another choice for manager," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "If he takes something from somebody over time, so be it. But again he's getting a little bit of a late start given the fact that we're probably about two weeks away from leaving Florida."

The 32-year-old hit .265 with 14 homers and 49 RBIs last year for the Mets and Milwaukee, who acquired him Aug. 12.

Among the victims of a historically slow free agent market, Walker had been working out at the camp for free agents in Bradenton, organized by the players' association.

"I didn't have an offer from anybody until three days ago," Walker said. "I'm excited to be a part of this."

Walker will wear No. 14 with the Yankees. His deal raised New York's projected luxury tax payroll to approximately $181 million, about $16 million below the luxury tax threshold.

"It's something we couldn't ignore when the opportunity still existed," Cashman said.

Notes: Yankees broadcaster Ken Singleton announced on Twitter that 2018 will be last year in the booth. "I've been playing or talking baseball ever since I was 4 years old. It's time for this enjoyable ride to end. Thanks fans for allowing me into your homes & businesses." ... Yankees manager Aaron Boone said OF Jacoby Ellsbury might not be ready for start of the regular season. Ellsbury is hitting off a tee and taking soft toss. ... The Yankees released INF Danny Espinosa and sent INF Kyle Holder to their minor league camp.

___

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

People also read these

TNT broadcaster Craig Sager undergoes 3rd marrow...

Aug 31, 2016

TNT basketball broadcaster Craig Sager received a rare third bone marrow transplant on Wednesday as...

GOP woos veterans, but Trump has rubbed some vets...

Sep 6, 2016

The GOP is making a big effort to win veterans' votes in November, but Trump's rhetoric rubs some...

Brook thrives on fear as he steps up to challenge...

Sep 8, 2016

Moments after Gennady Golovkin's predictable insistence he wasn't scared of facing Kell Brook on...

Love chooses Fowler, Holmes, Kuchar for Ryder Cup

Sep 12, 2016

United States Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III has chosen Rickie Fowler, J.B. Holmes and Matt...

John Buzbee, a US diplomat who served in Mideast,...

Sep 16, 2016

A veteran U.S. Foreign Service officer who served across the Middle East, John Buzbee, has died of...

Sign up now!

About Us

In The Headline sought to bring professionalism back into journalism, bringing you only the most exclusive and the most impactive news from all over the globe.

Contact us: sales[at]intheheadline.com