Non-tender deadline looms large for Pittsburgh Pirates

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Oct 4, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker (18) hits an RBI single against the Cincinnati Reds during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Neil Walker is originally from Pittsburgh.

Just making sure that you knew.

Considered one of the best offensive second basemen in the game, Walker has certainly done enough to warrant the $10 million+ salary he will likely get for 2015. All indications are that he is not in the Pittsburgh Pirates agenda beyond next year.

The debate on Walker’s future fuels the fire of many Pirates front-office critics, but the simple truth is easy: At 30 years old – 31 before he hits free agency – Walker’s chances at an extension with his hometown club are all but evaporated. Talks between Walker and the club have been contentious for quite some time. His departure is now an inevitable uncertainty.

However, as much as Neal Huntington can say that Walker’s future in 2016 is not tied to Jung Ho Kang‘s injury, it’s hard not to believe the exact opposite.

Even if Kang wasn’t injured, the Pirates are not apt to let Walker …walk away with a year of control left. Fans should brace themselves for a farewell tour of sorts.

Next, we look at the single-most polarizing Pirate.

Next: The First Baseman