With AP Photos.A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that free-agent infielder Neil Walker and the New York Yankees are close to a one-year contract worth about $5 million. Miguel Andujar, 23, was slated to start at third base, but NY traded for Brandon Drury to take over the hot corner. Walker earned $17.2 million past year after accepting a qualifying offer from the Mets.The Yankees' second-base spot has been viewed as an open competition, with Tyler Wade leading a group that also includes Torres and Ronald Torreyes, plus non-roster invitees Danny Espinosa and Jace Peterson.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before Monday night's against Minnesota that general manager Brian Cashman is working through the details. That would mean touted prospects Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar probably would start the season in the minor leagues.
Walker now becomes a late entrant in the Yankees' second-base competition.
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Torres, who recently was rated as baseball's No. 5 overall prospect by ESPN's Keith Law, is hitting 3-for-23 this spring.
Walker, 32, is a nine-year veteran who last played for the Milwaukee Brewers after being traded from the crosstown New York Mets in August. Also, perhaps the Yankees are concerned about Wade's left wrist, which he banged up last Saturday diving for a ball. However, those negotiations stalled after the Yankees' acquisition of Brandon Drury from the D-backs on February 20.A career.272 hitter with 130 home runs, Walker captured a Silver Slugger Award with the Pirates in 2014.