New York Yankees: The trade for Neil Walker that almost happened

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 03: Neil Walker
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 03: Neil Walker /

The New York Yankees and New York Mets had an agreed-upon trade sending Neil Walker to the American League, but the Yankees backed out at the last second.

According to Anthony DiComo of, the New York Yankees were set to acquire infielder Neil Walker from the New York Mets prior to the July 31 trade deadline. However, due to medical issues, the Yankees backed out of the deal. The push to acquire Walker followed the New York Yankees’ acquisition of right-hander Sonny Gray from the Oakland Athletics.

Walker did clear waivers this month, so he is still eligible for a trade in August. The New York Yankees could attempt to make a deal this month but there may be some hostility between the Yankees and Mets that prevent a trade from occurring.

The Mets and Yankees were recently in trade talks concerning Jay Bruce, who ended up going to the Cleveland Indians. The Yankees felt that their offer of two prospects was much better than what the Mets received from the Indians for Bruce. As a result of that frustration, some words were exchanged between the organizations and some officials spoke out.

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The Mets officials believed the Yankees were not offering anything of real value, while the Yankees officials believed they were paying a significant price. A Mets official also stated that they believed the medicals used as an excuse to back out of the Walker trade were a sham because the Yankees wanted to avoid adding payroll after acquiring Gray.

Despite all of that and the medical issues, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Yankees are still interesting in pursuing Walker from the Mets. He also adds that they are near their spending limit and are trying to avoid paying full salaries in deals, like they did with Jaime Garcia.

The Mets started Walker at first base on Tuesday night for the first time ever in his career. Walker told reporters he believes the Mets are doing this in an attempt to boost his value in a potential trade.

Walker was asked after the game whether he believed starting at first base was being used as a showcase. Per, he responded, “I’m sure it is… For me, it’s adding to things that I can do.”

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The Mets are in a situation where they feel it is best to trade Walker rather than keep him and lose him this offseason for nothing. Walker was already extended a qualifying offer last season, which he accepted, that prevents the team from offering him one again according to the new CBA rules. If they want to get something of value for Walker, dealing with the New York Yankees may be their only option. But can they put aside their cross-town rivalry and issues to get a deal done?