Despite reports that the Mets are not actively shopping Daniel Murphy, ESPN’s Jayson Stark said in a chat today, that the Mets second baseman is available if teams were willing to pay a high price.
“They’d definitely move him,” he writes. “But they want quality back. Sandy Alderson does a really good job of making these types of moves. And there are enough teams looking for a second baseman that I think that’s a real possibility.”
Nobody should be untouchable, especially when you’re on the verge of six straight losing seasons.
What Stark is saying here is neither revealing or insightful and could be said about almost any player on the Mets.
If a team is willing to overpay for any of our players, it would be negligent of us not to listen or even act if it makes the team significantly better.
Marc Carig of Newsday reports that teams have reached out to the Mets about trading for second baseman Daniel Murphy. However, he adds that the front office is more likely to keep Murphy rather than deal him away.
Yesterday I mentioned that I can’t see the Mets trading Murphy mostly because it would send a signal that the team is still not ready to be competitive and is still rebuilding. The exact opposite of what Sandy Alderson is trying to convey.
Murphy, 29, made his first All-Star team this season and is batting .287/.335/.406 with 26 doubles, seven homers, 38 RBI, 57 runs scored and 11 stolen bases.
He is currently earning $5.7 million this year and will be eligible for his final year of arbitration this winter and could get about $8 million or a little more than what the Mets gave Chris Young for 2014.
The topic of trading Murphy has become a hot-button issue in the fan base, so I asked some of our writers to weigh in on this to give us a broader sense.
Destry – The Mets should absolutely lock up Daniel Murphy as soon as they possibly can. He was quoted recently as saying something to the effect of “I’ve already made enough money for one lifetime.” This tells me that he would sign a below market deal, and those just don’t happen for players that have already established themselves as an All Star caliber player. He does everything the right way. He’s done everything the team and the organization has ever asked of him, and he’s never complained once, about anything. He’s a tireless worker, and an excellent role model for the young players and this franchise. He’s also at or near the top of almost every major offensive category in the NL for the past year and a half. With the exception of OBP, its uncanny how his numbers are virtually identical to league MVP Andrew McCutchen during that span. Sign him up ASAP for 5 years and $47.5 mil. He could easily get $12 million per on the open market.
Roger – Daniel Murphy should be signed to an extension. Yes, the team has some really good second base prospects in the minors right now, but prospects are just that until they prove they can perform on the major league level. Most prospects don’t make it and even those that don’t – how many of them do you truly look back on 10 years down the line and say, “We never should have traded him away.” Odds are, you’re not trading a Future Hall of Famer. Murphy is a proven major league hitter. Why trade him in hope of a couple of years down the line one of the prospects eventually produces at the level Murphy currently is?
Joe Spector – I love Murph. He’s turned into one of the best second basemen in the game. Obviously he’s an offensive player but he’s come a long way since first being asked to play second. Keep him. He’s not great enough to bring in a haul but he’s good enough to keep.
XtreemIcon – Impossible to answer without knowing the potential return or contract demands. Murphy is significantly overrated by Mets fans. That doesn’t make him bad or invaluable, but consider that there was very little buzz surrounding him at the Winter Meetings, the Astros declined a trade for him for a shortstop that they demoted to AAA and has a career OPS barely north of .600, and the only reported trade offer TO the Mets for him was one middle reliever. The league doesn’t seem to value him quite as highly as Mets fans do, and for good reason.
Michael Branda – It depends on what he wants. If he wants to be here until say 2017, then sign him. He comes off as a heart and soul type player and you can’t just find those guys easily. If they let him walk, they are basically guaranteeing themselves a downgrade at a position that is giving them some of their best offensive production. If they dealt him, their internal plan would be what? Wilmer Flores? So basically you’re trading an All-Star 2B and replacing him with a young player who isn’t ready to hit in the major leagues yet. That’s what rebuilding teams do.
Ed Marcus – I am a Murph supporter, but with Dilson Herrera in the pipeline and possibly two seasons away I feel the Mets should maybe give Murphy a short term extension or just avoid arbitration and trade him next midseason.
Stephanie – I feel that they should re-sign him to a two to four year deal. He’s been improving every season at second base and it would be a real shame to see him traded this year. He has deserved an extension but we should be extremely cautious of the years and money we are giving him after just one great season which still isn’t even over yet.
David Conde – Tough, tough one, because I really like what is coming up in the minors. I mean with Dilson Herrera tearing it up at every level and they still have Flores, and I really like Murphy, but signing him to an extension just closes the door on any chance these kids have. But trading Murphy now would mean that Flores gets a real opportunity this season. I’m a skeptic that if you’re building for the future then don’t block the way for the future to happen.
Robert Piersall – I am a huge Murphy supporter. We need to lock this guy up right now. He has worked his rear end off to become a quality defensive second baseman, and though he still has his occasional mishaps in the field, his hitting makes up for it 100%. Murphy is our most consistent hitter. Definitely think it would be a huge mistake to trade Murphy, unless it was a very overwhelming offer for another major league ready player who could make a difference for this team.
Gerry Silverman – The Murphy question is perhaps the most intriguing personnel decision that will need to be made. Clearly he has developed some legitimate value at his position but appears to stand in the way of the team’s top current offensive prospect. I love his grit and his spirit, but I gotta confess, I think Wilmer Flores could be the middle of the lineup bat that Murph won’t ever evolve into. I’m torn.
Connor O’Brien – It doesn’t matter. Either way, trading Murphy or extending him, you are going to get tremendous value. If he is signed to $8-10 million annually, that’s a huge steal. If Alderson uses him as a big piece in a deal for a slugger, he has a lot of trade value. I like Murphy, but this team can’t really go wrong trading him or extending him, unless he wants too much – like $15 million per of course.