The Mets will extend Neil Walker a qualifying offer, ESPN's Adam Rubin reports.
The Mets already easily won the Walker/Jon Niese trade on performance, and it looks like they now stand to continue to gain from it even if he departs. Walker will have the option of sticking with the Mets next season and taking a $17.2 million salary. If he declines, the Mets will get a free draft pick at the end of the first round. That's a pick with considerable value. The Mets have to take somewhat of a risk to collect the pick, of course, but most players who are extended qualifying offers decline them, and Neil Walker at one year and $17.2 million really isn't a bad deal. (In a related move, the Mets also declined their option on Niese, so he's now a free agent.)
I and other BD authors have written here many times about why I wasn't a fan of the Walker/Niese trade, and that the trade was detrimental to the Pirates' 2016 season is by now obvious to everyone. We don't need to belabor it. But it's worth noting that the draft pick makes the trade even worse. Simply keeping Walker and collecting the pick themselves would have been a far better route for the Pirates than the one they took.