First Pitch

First Pitch: The Case Against Extending Neil Walker

First Pitch: The Case Against Extending Neil Walker

Last year the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata to extensions. At the time there was talk that Neil Walker could also be a candidate to be extended, as the club was talking with him about the possibility. The two sides are still talking, and will enter this off-season with Walker qualifying for arbitration as a Super Two player.

Most players who sign extensions don't sign the deal until they become arbitration eligible. So for Walker, that time would be now. He's coming off a decent season where he hit for a .280 average, a .768 OPS, and posted a 3.3 WAR, while improving his defense at second base for the second year in a row. Despite Walker being one of the better hitters on the team, I don't think I would extend him if I'm the Pirates.

First, while Walker is one of the better hitters on the team, that's not saying much. He is a good player, but he gets elevated because of the talent level that has surrounded him the last few years. Walker came up with P...

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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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