Taijuan Walker Gets 4 Years, $72M from Philly as Mid-Tier Pitching Continues to Outperform Expectations

We’ve been saying for a little while now that the middle tier pitchers would benefit from the monster paydays of the top starters, and that certainly appears to be the case. Andrew Heaney, an oft-injured lefty who was considered more of a low-cost risk play, ended up getting a two-year, $25 million deal from the Rangers that includes an opt-out after the first year. Incentives could take it up to $37 million or he can bounce for a long-term pact if he has a good ’23 season alongside Jacob deGrom.

In a deal that’s even more indicative of where the market is moving, former Met Taijuan Walker agreed to a four-year deal with Philly that will pay him $72 million. That’s about $12 million in total value and $3 million AAV above projections and could signal even bigger deals for Chris Bassitt and Jameson Taillon. Bassitt will be hampered by qualifying offer penalties, but Taillon is not similarly encumbered and reportedly has a very robust market.

Koudai Senga will likewise command a large deal over what could end up being six years or even more if his agent is to be believed. With no QO or posting fee, a fastball that exceeds 100 mph, and a ghostly splitter, the NPB star is in line to get paid.

It’ll be really interesting to see whether and how the Cubs attack this market if prices continue to rise for their would-be targets, most of whom profile more as mid-rotation depth.

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