Baseball is a game of numbers, as they say.
Taijuan Walker recently signed with the Mets on a three-year, $23 million pact. That’s the kind of money that usually allows you to pick your own number on a new squad. Well, except if Mr. Met is already wearing it.
Walker, who has worn Nos. 27, 32, 44, 99, 0 and 00 at various points in his career (per Baseball Reference), was planning to don the double zero again this season. Except, well, it’s taken by longest tenured Met, Mister.
Walker detailed the odyssey of his numbers on his back Tuesday.
“I was 44 growing up, and I finally got it with the Mariners in 2016,” Walker said. ”And then I ended up getting traded at the end of the year, and when I got traded to the Diamondbacks, Paul Goldschmidt was wearing 44. So I was, ‘OK, I’m never going to get that again.’ And I think the only way I don’t wear 99 is if I get traded to the Yankees. So I was, OK, 99 is a safe bet and went with that.
“And then, of course, last year I got traded to Toronto and (Hyun Jin) Ryu wears 99. So, I was like, ‘OK, well, that didn’t work out.’ So I’m wearing 00. Something different, again. And, of course, this year, Mr. Met is 00. So I just went back to 99.”
Walker joins an uber-talented Mets roster featuring two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom and winter acquisitions Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco, the first year under new Mets owner Steve Cohen.
Pick any jersey number you want, but the only numbers that matter for Walker and the Mets at this point are the ones in the left column.