The Phillies lost free agent pitcher Kyle Gibson and Zach Eflin already this offseason, but took the first step in replacing them by signing free agent right-hander Taijuan Walker, formally of the Mets.

The deal was announced Tuesday night with Jon Heyman of the New York Post reporting that it's a four-year, $71 million deal. for Walker.

Walker, 30, is coming off the best seasons in his big league career. He has pitched for the Mets, Blue Jays, Arizona and Seattle. Last season in New York, he 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and a 132/45 K/BB ratio across 157 1/3 innings, making 29 starts.

The addition of Walker helps fill out a pitching staff that lost Gibson to Baltimore.  Gibson won 10 games and pitched in 167 2/3 innings (31 starts) this past season with the Phillies, so they needed to find another innings eater at the back-end of the rotation.

Dave Dombrowski had said he sees one of the young arms sliding into the back of the rotation, so look for Bailey Falter, Chris Sanchez and Andre Painter to battle for the role during Spring Training in March.

The Ultimate South Jersey Pizza Guide


More From 97.3 ESPN