Neil Walker is hitting .271 in 66 games for the Miami Marlins in 2019. When signed as a free agent prior to the season, it wasn’t expected that he was any sort of long-term option. He was coming off a year in which he put up a career-worst .219/.309/.354 in his first season of American League play, with the New York Yankees. Some thought that maybe his decline had arrived a little early.
And the power is clearly not what it used to be. He hit a dozen or more in every season from 2010 through 2017 before clubbing just 11 last year. This year just five, but he’s hitting above his .268 career average by three points, and hasn’t lost a step at first base. In fact, he’s started 10 times at third base, something that wasn’t expected from the veteran.
Walker’s utility has allowed the Miami Marlins to employ regular third baseman Brian Anderson in right field as needed, while freeing up first base for emerging superstar Garrett Cooper. Anyone trading for the veteran would be looking for a solid corner infielder and switch-hitting option. Do you know any teams that could use a solid corner infielder and switch hitter? I can name 30.