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|Posted: Sun Aug 13th, 2017 04:33 am||
|The Milwaukee Brewers are closing in on a deal to acquire second baseman Neil Walker from the New York Mets, sources told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Mets and Brewers are still in discussions about a trade but haven't completed the deal just yet. The potential return heading to the Mets isn't known.
Walker was taking batting practice ahead of the Mets' Saturday evening game in Philadelphia as word of the reported deal first surfaced, according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. Later, the Mets scratched him from their lineup, with Jose Reyes taking his spot at second base Saturday night.
Sandy Alderson talking to Terry Collins behind the cage while Neil Walker takes BP. They just left field and went to clubhouse. pic.twitter.com/bcMlVgLsfk
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) August 12, 2017
Walker is hitting .264/.339/.442 with 10 home runs, 13 doubles, 27 walks, and 36 RBIs over 73 games for the Mets this season. He missed several weeks prior to the trade deadline due to a hamstring injury, and that may have led to the Yankees backing out of a deal to acquire him on July 31.
Since returning from the disabled list July 28, Walker owns a .569 OPS in 45 plate appearances.
The 30-year-old, who will become a free agent at season's end, is earning $17.2 million this season. New York is reportedly eating some of the nearly $5 million in salary remaining this season in order to complete the trade, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
Milwaukee, which surprisingly led the NL Central for much of this season before a second-half slump dropped it to third place, has received the fourth-worst production in all of baseball this year at just 0.1 WAR, per Fangraphs. Jonathan Villar, who led the majors in stolen bases one year ago as part of a breakout campaign, has regressed dramatically in 2017. His struggles have forced the club to turn to journeyman veteran Eric Sogard on a more regular basis.
The Brewers have been looking for upgrades at the position even after the non-waiver deadline passed, and reportedly had interest in Detroit's Ian Kinsler - who failed to clear revocable waivers - earlier this month.