Thoughts On The Improbable Gardner For Murphy Swap

An article by posted on December 9, 2013

The Daniel Murphy for Brett Gardner trade talk is continuing to pick up steam despite the Mets and Yankees appearing to be strange bedfellows.

Lets start with Andy Martino of the Daily News who says the Mets have already told an official from at least one other club that they are willing to move Daniel Murphy during the winter meetings.

brett gardner

The Yankees have a glut of outfielders after adding Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury to a group that already included Ichiro Suzuki, Alfonso Soriano and Gardner. And while the Mets don’t have a glut at second base they seem to thing Eric Young Jr. is an everyday player and are aiming to give him Murphy’s old job. I think that’s a terrible idea, but what do I know?

Most Met fans would jump at the idea of a Murphy for Gardner swap and so would I. But my question is why would the Yankees trade someone who has posted a 8.1 bWAR in his last two full seasons to their crosstown rivals for a defensively challenged player who has just a 3.2 bWAR over his last two full seasons?

In what universe would Brian Cashman do that? Throw in Dillon Gee and the maybe they’ll listen, but otherwise I can’t see it. it makes no sense.

Martino says the right move this week for the Yankees is to listen to all offers for Gardner, and take the best one. He’s right. The Yankees should easily be able to get a lot more for their centerfielder than a Daniel Murphy from a number of teams who lost out on Jacoby Ellsbury last week and are desperate for an outfielder and a leadoff hitter with plus-speed.

From another angle, if the Mets were to somehow convince the Yankees to do this deal, it would mean Juan Lagares loses his job in center field and heads straight to the bench or possibly even Las Vegas. Why? Is this an improvement? Lagares by the way, had a 3.7 WAR in 2013, and over a full season he would have outproduced both Gardner and Murphy. Chew on that for a minute. Never mind the fact he’s the only one of the three who at 24 will most likely improve his performance and only get better.

Finally, both Murphy and Gardner are arbitration eligible and are likely to earn about the same $5 million next season. So the deal wouldn’t even give the Mets any salary relief at all.

The only way this makes any sense is if Chris Young wasn’t in the equation. Unfortunately for the Mets he is and to the tune of $7.25 million dollars.

If we’re going to trade our second most productive hitter in Murphy, would you want to trade him for something we actually could use? Like a shortstop.

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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