Pirates rumors: Neil Walker next for extension?

Justin K. Aller

Second baseman Neil Walker could be the next Pirates' player in line to receive a contract extension.

Following the Pittsburgh Pirates agreement with manager Clint Hurdle, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says that second baseman Neil Walker could be next in line to receive a contract extension.

Team president Frank Coonelly acknowledged an extension with Walker as absolutely a "possibility." He added that Walker is "an important part of this organization, moving forward," and that he hopes the second baseman is "a Pirate for a long time."

Walker recently reached a one-year, $3.3 million agreement with Pittsburgh to avoid arbitration. The 27-year-old has three years of arbitration-eligibility remaining.

The Pirates approached Walker about an extension two years ago, but negotiations stalled, according to Biertempfel. Still, both sides have expressed interest in a long-term agreement.

The Pirates selected Walker in the first round (11th overall) of the 2004 MLB Draft. He's a native of Pennsylvania and was born in Pittsburgh.

Walker quickly developed into one of the game's top prospects, and made his major league debut in 2009. He appeared in 110 games for the Pirates the next season, hitting .296/.349/.462 with 29 doubles and 12 home runs.

Over the past two seasons, Walker has hit .276/.338/.416 while averaging over 30 doubles and 13 home runs per year. He owns a career batting line of .280/.339/.424 over parts of four seasons in the majors.

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