Pirates

Friday Insider: Neil Walker going, going …

[caption id="attachment_10661" align="aligncenter" width="600"]IMG_9413 Neil Walker takes his cuts in the cage earlier this week at Pirate City. -- DEJAN KOVACEVIC[/caption]

BY DEJAN KOVACEVIC

Roundup of a lot of randomness from a lot of time around our teams ...

• Sure sounds like Neil Walker is on his way out of his hometown.

It might not happen soon or even this season, depending on how the Pirates fare, depending on how quickly Jung-Ho Kang and/or prospect Alen Hanson come along. But I'm more convinced than ever, via multiple conversations in the past week, of these three things:

1. The Pirates' recent multiyear offer, one that Frank Coonelly spoke about publicly last month, was little more than a dressed-up attempt to buy out Walker's two remaining arbitration years, this and next, plus one year of free agency. As anyone familiar with baseball finances can attest, this type of term is aimed at getting a discount on the arbitration process, nothing more.

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2. Had Walker signed such a deal, with an aim of staying in Pittsburgh, it would have come at a marked discount, and he'd have had no assurance he wouldn't be traded.