NEW YORK – The Mets made a late addition to their starting rotation, agreeing to a $20 million, two-year contract with right-hander Taijuan Walker.
The 28-year-old joins a rotation headed by two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom.
Mets manager Luis Rojas cautioned the deal was not yet final but already was viewing the addition as a boost.
“A guy like him, it just makes your rotation so strong when you can add him,” Rojas said from spring training in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
New York's need for a pitcher increased with the loss of Seth Lugo, who will miss the start of the season following elbow surgery Tuesday to remove a bone spur.
New owner Steven Cohen was displayed a willingness to spend, retaining Marcus Stroman with an $18.9 million qualifying offer and acquiring Carlos Carrasco from Cleveland in a trade along with All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor for a rotation also projected to include David Peterson.
The team hopes to get starter Noah Syndergaard back as soon as June. He is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery last March.
Walker has a five-pitch repertoire with a 93 mph fastball mixed among sliders, split-finger fastballs, sinkers and curveballs.