"Obviously, it's a part of our plan," general manager Neal Huntington said Tuesday. "It's got to be a shared compromise. When there's been interest by both parties and they've both been willing to share that risk, we've been able to reach agreements."
Sources indicate that that "a lot of work still needs to be done" on a contract extension for Walker.
The Pirates originally figured that Walker might be easier to sign than McCutchen, but a deal with the second baseman does not appear imminent.
Walker will become a Super Two player after this season, which gives him an extra year of arbitration eligibility. The 26-year-old batted .273/.334/.408 with 12 homers, 83 RBI, nine stolen bases and a .742 OPS last season.
"I'm planning to play out my four years of arbitration eligibility," Walker said. "That's where my focus is. I'm focused on helping this team win. That's where we are unless something else comes along."