Neil Walker became the latest free agent to take a big pay cut as opening day approaches, joining the New York Yankees on Monday with a one-year deal for $4 million.
The veteran infielder made $17.2 million last season while playing for the New York Mets and Milwaukee. He can make $1 million in performance bonuses this year.
The 32-year-old Walker hit .265 with 14 home runs and 49 RBIs last season, then became a free agent. He will likely start at second base, giving prospects Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar more time to mature in the minor leagues.
”It’s certainly a crazy offseason, but more than anything my hope was that I’d land somewhere that’s going to be competitive and have a chance to win,” Walker said. ”I’m happy to be here, happy to be on a contending team.”
Pitcher Lance Lynn got right to work with Minnesota after finalizing his $12 million, one-year deal. He turned down a $17.4 million offer to stay with St. Louis, and looked for a richer contract in free agency.
Lynn limbered up with the Twins on a practice field, and was set to start Tuesday against Baltimore.
Starter Alex Cobb and reliever Greg Holland are among the free agents still available. All 30 teams open on March 29.
ORIOLES 8, PIRATES 5
Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy gave up one run and struck out five in five innings. Jonathan Schoop hit his third home run of the spring. Starling Marte doubled for Pittsburgh and is batting .478.
NATIONALS 5, TIGERS 4
Edwin Jackson got his third start for the Nationals and gave up three hits in three innings. Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez had two hits, including a double.
RED SOX 6, BLUE JAYS 4
Sandy Leon hit two home runs for Boston. Blake Swihart also connected and is batting .371 this year. Toronto starter J.A. Happ worked into the fifth inning. Blue Jays reliever Tyler Clippard had a solid inning, striking out two of the three batters he faced. Kevin Pillar got three hits and is batting .520.
BREWERS 7, DODGERS 6
Clayton Kershaw struck out seven over 3 2/3 innings, and Justin Turner and Chase Utley each had two hits for Los Angeles. Ji-Man Choi hit a grand slam for Milwaukee and Christian Bethancourt homered in the ninth.
INDIANS 4, RANGERS (SS) 2
Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer struck out eight in five innings and Bradley Zimmer homered. Texas starter Clayton Blackburn got just one out while giving up three runs and four hits.
ROCKIES 4, DIAMONDBACKS 2
Colorado used just two pitchers to get through nine innings. Chad Bettis worked the first five, allowing two runs and striking out four. Antonio Senzatela finished with one-hit relief. Kris Medlen gave up a hit over two innings in the start for Arizona.
ANGELS 4, REDS 3
Los Angeles starter Garrett Richards struggled with control over 3 2/3 innings, walking five and throwing a pair of wild pitches. Albert Pujols doubled twice and Ian Kinsler homered off Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey. Angels DH Shohei Ohtani went 0 for 4 and is batting .111.
ROYALS (SS) 4, PADRES 0
Salvador Perez homered off San Diego starter Bryan Mitchell and newcomer Michael Saunders doubled and drove in three runs. Kansas City starter Jakob Junis threw four hitless innings and struck out seven.
GIANTS 6, ATHLETICS 5
San Francisco catcher Nick Hundley doubled and drove in three runs. Steven Duggar, a sixth-round draft pick in 2015 from Clemson, homered for the fourth time this spring and raised his batting average to .300. A’s starter Jharel Cotton did not give up a hit over four innings, walking three and striking out five. Stephen Piscotty hit his second homer for Oakland.