Walker takes Mets qual­i­fy­ing of­fer

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS -

Mets se­cond base­man Neil Walker and Philadel­phia pitcher Jeremy Hel­lick­son have ac­cepted $17.2 mil­lion qual­i­fy­ing of­fers, giv­ing up free agency to stay with their teams.

Eight other free agents did not ac­cept the of­fers from their for­mer teams by Mon­day’s 5 p.m. dead­line: out­field­ers Jose Bautista (Toronto), Yoe­nis Ce­s­pedes (Mets), Ian Des­mond (Texas), Dex­ter Fowler (Chicago Cubs) and Mark Trumbo (Bal­ti­more), des­ig­nated hit­ter Ed­win En­car­na­cion (Toronto); closer Ken­ley Jansen (Los An­ge­les Dodgers); and third base­man Justin Turner (Dodgers).

Walker and Hel­lick­son are signed play­ers with Mon­day’s de­ci­sions and could be el­i­gi­ble for free agency again af­ter next sea­son.

“Happy to say I’m back in Or­ange and Blue for 2017!! Let’s go Mets!” Walker tweeted on Mon­day.

The Mets got Walker in a trade with Pitts­burgh last De­cem­ber. He hit .282 with 23 homers and 55 RBIs in 113 games with New York be­fore his sea­son was cut short by back surgery.

The 31-year-old Walker, a first-round pick in the 2004 am­a­teur draft, broke into the ma­jors with the Pi­rates in 2009 and is a .273 hit­ter with 116 homers and 473 RBIs in 949 ca­reer games.

Hel­lick­son was traded from Ari­zona to Philadel­phia last Novem­ber. The 29-year-old right-han­der went 12-10 with a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts for the lowly Phillies this year.

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