Sandy Alderson met with season ticket holders before this afternoon’s game and fielded some questions. According to Adam Rubin who was on hand, someone asked Sandy whether he is looking to trade second baseman Daniel Murphy as many fans and bloggers have been speculating on Twitter. Alderson answered:
“Look, we have a real appreciation for Dan Murphy. Murphy is somebody who is an offensive player, who has really done some things this year to improve himself as an offensive player. His on-base percentage is much higher than it has been in recent years. He goes the other way. So there’s no question in terms of this ballpark, he’s been a plus. You know, we talk about all the time: We’re looking for players that are willing to play in New York or can play in New York. He hits in New York. He hits in this ballpark.”
“He’s done a nice job getting himself to the point where he plays second base as well as he does. So, you know, I haven’t been on Twitter in a long time. So I know you haven’t been reading my tweets. And I don’t think you’ve been reading them from Terry [Collins] either. So, at this point, do what I do: Ignore Twitter and try to ignore the blogosphere and have a beer when you go home tonight.”
Murphy is making $5.8 million this year and could earn $8 million in his final year of arbitration after this season. The Mets’ top hitter over the last two years becomes a free agent after the 2015 season.
He didn’t really address the question, only pointing out what we already knew about Murphy’s progress as a hitter and a second baseman.
Daniel Murphy‘s future with the New York Mets has become some sort of mystery. Through all the talk of trades, non-tenders, and extensions, all Murphy has done is become the Mets biggest offensive threat. I know that isn’t saying much, but Murphy’s slash line of .305/.361/.431 is one of the best among second basemen in all of baseball. In fact, Daniel Murphy is behind only Brian Dozier and Chase Utley in WAR for the position. Murphy of course is not the greatest defender and he does make some very questionable baserunning decisions, but he has proven to be as consistent as they come at the position.
In a lineup filled with strikeout-prone hitters, the 29 year-old Murphy is posting the lowest K% of his career, while improving his BB% to 8.3% this season (4.6% last year). Murphy is in the lineup everyday and has shown to be reliable in the 2-hole. With Murphy’s .361 OBP, I honestly believe that he should be leading off for this team while Lagares is out, as he is also able to swipe a few bases, but that is another topic for another day.
In terms of an extension, there aren’t any great comparisons to Murphy, but something in the 4 year, $40-50 million range should get the job done without a problem. He is still arbitration eligible next season and he will likely earn about $8 million (complete estimate, but he’s making $5.7 this season).
Now most people that disagree with the idea of an extension will point out that we have alternate options, but I will counter that with, who can make an impact greater than Murphy? I am a big fan of Wilmer Flores and want him to find a spot on the team with regular playing time, but can Wilmer be as productive as Murphy? I believe that Wilmer will be become a middle order bat, but I still don’t think it should be at the expense of Murphy. Reading some comments in other posts, I heard people clamoring for Dilson Herrera, who is off to a great start, but is still in Single-A. He is at least two years away and there are no immediate replacements in the farm system.
The alternate plan is to just let Murphy play next year as an impending free agent and see what happens. That seems to be the most likely path, but it isn’t the ideal situation. If Murphy finishes this year strong and repeats it next year, his price tag will be higher without a doubt.