With just five days to go before the 2022 MLB Trade Deadline, we’re in the midst rumors and speculation on which teams may attempt to buy or sell at the deadline. The Diamondbacks, who many in the media believe will be sellers have quite a few players that teams may be interested in. One of them is first baseman Christian Walker.
Walker, 31, has bounced back from a tough 2021 season. In 96 games with the D-backs, Walker has put up a .204/.312/.450 slash, good for a 115 OPS+, with 23 home runs, a 19.1% strikeout rate and a 12.8% walk rate. His glove has also vastly improved as all defensive metrics paint him as the best defensive first baseman in baseball, with a +14 rating in defensive runs saved and +10 in outs above the average player. According to Baseball Reference, Walker’s value above the replacement player is worth three full wins.
With a player of that much value potentially on the market, teams may or may not be calling the Diamondbacks to gauge availability and price in a potential trade. However one MLB Insider is throwing cold water on the trade idea, with Ken Rosenthal speculating that the Diamondbacks will hold onto their first baseman after the trade deadline in a trade deadline overview piece for the Athletic.
Rosenthal’s reasoning is this:
With Walker under team control through the 2024 season, the Diamondbacks certainly don’t have any urgency to trade Walker in the next week unless a team meets their price. The first base options behind Walker aren’t that impressive with Pavin Smith and Seth Beer both mightily struggling to hit MLB pitching this year before getting sent down to Reno. The farm system quote is a clear signal by the D-backs that they don’t believe a potential return for a Walker trade that teams are offering will improve their club in both the short and long term.