May 16, 2007

How About Walker

Ed Ryan at Mets Fever (Nation Affiliate), writes about Todd Walker and asks if the Mets should pick him up:

The A's DFA 33 y/o Todd Walker on May 12, Walker was batting .271 and there simply wasn't room on the roster for the veteran infielder. Walker has said he will refuse assignment and may retire if no one picks him up after his 10 days on waivers. Walker has primarily been a second baseman his entire career and played 46 games for the Cubs at the position in 2006 with a FP .977. This year he has played all of the infield except short stop and the outfield along with DH. In ten years he has a BA of .289, OBP .348 and SLG .435. Walker maybe the perfect low risk second baseman we've been locking for.

Todd Walker's time in Oakland is over and so, too, may be his major league career. The infielder was designated for assignment by the Athletics to make room for pitcher Dallas Braden, who started Saturday's game against Cleveland after being recalled from Triple-A Sacramento.Walker was batting just .271 with no home runs and four RBIs in 18 games this season and had seen his playing time cut dramatically over the last two weeks. The 33-year-old made a rare start Thursday in Oakland's 17-3 win over Kansas City and went 2-for-3 as the designated hitter. He has been used primarily as a pinch hitter since the A's activated first baseman Dan Johnson from the disabled list on April 25.

Walker, who has played for seven teams during nearly 10 years in the majors, acknowledged his career might be over. “It just kind of depends on what happens,” said Walker, who signed with the A's on March 30 after being released by the San Diego Padres. “I'm fine with that. I've played 10 years in the big leagues. Not many people can say (that).” Oakland manager Bob Geren said the decision was difficult. The A's need pitching help with starters Rich Harden and Esteban Loiaza on the disabled list.

Walker started nine games at first base for Oakland but went to the bench after Johnson came off the DL. Johnson was hitting .412 with four homers and 12 RBIs entering Saturday's game against Cleveland. “It was a situation where the way it was shaping up, he wasn't going to get enough playing time,” Geren said. “He's a great guy to have on the team but the opportunities were so slim.”

Walker said he will refuse a minor league assignment, leaving the A's 10 days to trade him or release him. He will spend the next few days with his family in Louisiana while contemplating his future. His daughter, Riley, turned six Friday and Walker acknowledged it's getting harder for him to miss out on family events. source San

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