Jamie Walker signed a one year, $900,000 deal with the Detroit Tigers yesterday. Walker was one of our more effective relievers, and showed some improvement in 2004. He gave up more hits, but his career 177/61 strikeout to walk ratio is nice. If Walker has a knock, it’s the long ball. He’s given up 37 homeruns in 233 2/3 career innings, which is almost 1.5 per nine innings.
But he definitely improved in what should be his primary job, and that’s getting left handed hitters out. In 2003, six of the nine homeruns he gave up were against lefties. That number droped to one in 2004.
$900,000 is a fair price. Walker has some trade value, and has a good arm. I’ve always liked watching his delivery. It’s not quite side arm, because his release point is up near his head. I can imagine lefties struggling against him, because the ball starts out coming right at them.
The Tigers also declined Al Levine’s $1.1 million option. Levine was pretty ineffective, as he barely struck out more batters then he walked, and gave up ten homers in just over seventy innings.
Both are good moves. They’re both no-brainers, but we’ll give management the credit they deserve for continuing to make good decisions.