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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sherman: Mets’ key offseason decision will be what to do with Murphy

Perhaps this other article "Dodgers walk Murphy to face Wright" might offer some clues…

indications are the Mets are not showing much enthusiasm to have [Daniel] Murphy join David Wright and Curtis Granderson as the long-term foundational pieces of the lineup, in part, because the deals for Wright and Granderson look as if they could go rather bad.

For better or worse, this is a front office that believes in drawing walks and hitting homers, areas Murphy does not excel. Murphy’s defense at second also has regressed… In addition, Mets officials have noticed how many multi-year second base deals went rotten. Dan Uggla (five years at $62 million) might be done as a player with one year still remaining on that deal. Arizona (Aaron Hill, three years at $35 million), Milwaukee (Rickie Weeks, four years, $38.7 million) and Cincinnati (Brandon Phillips, six years, $72.5 million) each tried mightily to get out of as much of its second base pacts as possible, without success… Conversely, teams have been interested in Murphy. The Padres, for example, tried on multiple occasions to obtain him, offering Luke Gregerson last offseason before using the righty reliever to get Seth Smith from Oakland. A good deal of that pursuit was influenced by San Diego’s VP of baseball operations, Omar Minaya, who was the Mets’ general manager in 2006 when Murphy was drafted and who always has been a fan of the player.

But San Diego is not alone in seeing how Murphy can be an asset. He leads the NL in hits. There were executives who told me they see his best value as a Ben Zobrist type — playing regularly, but at multiple positions — but without Zobrist’s defensive acumen. The Padres, for example, were going to move him all over the field in 2014 and see how he handled third base, in particular, to gauge if he could replace Chase Headley, who was in his final year before free agency. Clubs such as Tampa Bay and Oakland gravitate to players like this.

The District Attorney Posted: August 24, 2014 at 06:14 PM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: daniel murphy, mets

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   1. JJ1986 Posted: August 24, 2014 at 06:35 PM (#4778253)
There were executives who told me they see his best value as a Ben Zobrist type — playing regularly, but at multiple positions — but without Zobrist’s defensive acumen.


Also without Zobrist's ability to play a bunch of positions. Playing 2B and 3B does not make one super-versatile.
   2. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: August 24, 2014 at 07:28 PM (#4778268)
I don't know about his defense, but he is a nice offensive player, especially for his position. Above-average OBP and slugging, plus he steals 10+ bases a year.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: August 24, 2014 at 07:29 PM (#4778269)
Actually, Murphy to me seemed more comfy at 1B and 3B than at 2B. he also has played LF, poorly in CitiField, but I suspect he could learn to do that respectably, especially in a different park. better fit as an AL player, so you can DH him as well.

career MLB games:

436 2B
173 1B
60 LF
28 3B

in minors:
196 3B
21 1B
19 2B
4 LF

   4. Walt Davis Posted: August 24, 2014 at 09:44 PM (#4778323)
Gregerson's a darn fine reliever but if that's the best you can get for Murphy -- and that was when he was 2 years from FA, not one -- then I'd just hold onto Murphy unless I was really hot on Flores as my 2B of the future.
   5. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: August 24, 2014 at 10:01 PM (#4778334)
At this point it's probably more Dilson Herrera than Wilmer Flores: .344/.415/.573 in AA at age 20. Agreed though that there's no point in trading Murphy for a reliever. Or anyone else for a reliever for that matter, does trading for a reliever ever work out?
   6. billyshears Posted: August 24, 2014 at 11:42 PM (#4778354)
I don't think people realize quite how impressive Herrera has been in AA. It's only been approximately 250 PAs, so sample size caveats apply, but if he qualified for the leaderboard, he would lead the league in OPS, lead the league in batting average, lead the league in SLG, and be second second in the league in OBP. He's also the second youngest player in the Eastern league.
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: August 24, 2014 at 11:44 PM (#4778355)

yes, Herrera and useful Vic Black for 2 months of Marlon Byrd from the Pirates was a nice haul.
   8. bobm Posted: August 24, 2014 at 11:54 PM (#4778357)
"Dodgers walk Murphy to face Wright"


Ugh. 3 IBB in 2014 so far of Murphy to face Wright.

1. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN201405110.shtml - Mets beat Phillies 5-4 in 11 innings


                                                                                                                             
Inn   Score Out RoB Bat   Batter   Pitcher wWPA wWE                                Play Description
b10     4-4   0 --- NYM R.Tejada J.Manship  -5% 57%                                Groundout: SS-1B
b10     4-4   1 --- NYM   L.Duda J.Manship  -4% 53%                      Flyball: RF (Deep RF Line)
b10     4-4   2 --- NYM  E.Young J.Manship   3% 56%             Single to 2B (Ground Ball to SS-2B)
b10     4-4   2 1-- NYM D.Murphy J.Manship   4% 60%                                 Young Steals 2B
b10     4-4   2 -2- NYM D.Murphy J.Manship   0% 60%                                Intentional Walk
b10     4-4   2 12- NYM D.Wright J.Manship -10% 50% Groundout: SS unassisted/Forceout at 2B (SS-2B)


2. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHI/PHI201405300.shtml - Mets lose to Phillies 6-5 in 14 innings

                                                                                                                                                                                            
Inn   Score Out RoB Bat     Batter Pitcher wWPA wWE                                           Play Description
t9      5-5   0 --- NYM    C.Young M.Adams  -8% 42%                                                       Walk
t9      5-5   0 1-- NYM  J.Lagares M.Adams   2% 44% Bunt Groundout: P-2B/Sacrifice (Front of Home) Young to 2B
t9      5-5   1 -2- NYM   D.Murphy M.Adams  -2% 42%                                           Intentional Walk
t9      5-5   1 12- NYM   D.Wright M.Adams  10% 52%                               Foul Popfly: C (Behind Home)
t9      5-5   2 12- NYM E.Campbell M.Adams  -6% 46%                              Walk Young to 3B Murphy to 2B
t9      5-5   2 123 NYM    B.Abreu M.Adams  16% 63%                                         Strikeout Swinging


3. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/LAN/LAN201408230.shtml - Mets lose to Dodgers 7-4

                                                                                                                                  
Inn   Score Out RoB Bat       Batter   Pitcher wWPA wWE                                    Play Description
t7      4-5   0 --- NYM     W.Flores Z.Greinke  -7% 64%                           Single to RF (Line Drive)
t7      4-5   0 1-- NYM     J.deGrom Z.Greinke   7% 71% Bunt Groundout: C-SS/Forceout at 2B (Front of Home)
t7      4-5   1 1-- NYM C.Granderson Z.Greinke  -3% 67%           Young (Pinch Runner for deGrom) Steals 2B
t7      4-5   1 -2- NYM C.Granderson Z.Greinke   7% 74%                                   Strikeout Looking
t7      4-5   2 -2- NYM     D.Murphy Z.Greinke  -2% 72%                                    Intentional Walk
t7      4-5   2 12- NYM     D.Wright Z.Greinke  -1% 71%                              Wild Pitch Young to 3B
t7      4-5   2 1-3 NYM     D.Wright Z.Greinke  10% 80%                                  Strikeout Swinging
   9. PreservedFish Posted: August 25, 2014 at 12:03 AM (#4778359)
he also has played LF, poorly in CitiField, but I suspect he could learn to do that respectably, especially in a different park.


That would be quite a gamble. He was an atrocious outfielder.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: August 25, 2014 at 12:36 AM (#4778368)
At this point it's probably more Dilson Herrera than Wilmer Flores: .344/.415/.573 in AA at age 20.

OK, but do you expect Herrera to be ready to go on opening day 2015? Murphy's an FA after 2015 so if Herrera is the future, that probably argues even more strongly for keeping Murphy then trading him at the deadline if Herrera is ready. In other words, if you want Flores (or whoever) as your opening day 2015 2B, then trading Murphy makes sense ...
   11. PreservedFish Posted: August 25, 2014 at 01:42 AM (#4778376)
I wouldn't trade Murphy. The Mets are a Matt Harvey away from being a .500 club, and they have enough solid young hitters and pitchers that you might expect a breakthrough or two in 2015. Their record this year isn't boosted by too many outlier performances. I want him on the team. You never know how important he might be.
   12. Lassus Posted: August 25, 2014 at 08:11 AM (#4778391)
"Curtis Granderson" and "long-term" are not words that instill confidence.
   13. formerly dp Posted: August 25, 2014 at 08:20 AM (#4778392)
That would be quite a gamble. He was an atrocious outfielder.
Worth underscoring. This would not turn out well.
For better or worse, this is a front office that believes in drawing walks and hitting homers, areas Murphy does not excel
The "drawing walks" half of the equation is definitely true, but I'm not sure on the "hitting homers"...have their acquisitions reflected this? Do they have a particular bias against players who get lots of hits? They've given Lagares a shot, and his offensive output comes mainly from hitting singles and doubles. Re: Herrera-- only 8 games at SS since the promotion, is this just a function of Tovar's presence at Binghamton?

Granderson's contract is going to look terrible by the time it ends. He won't be blocking anyone heading into 2015, but by the end of the season, Nimmo should be ready, and hopefully they'll add another corner guy this offseason. Not goodd.
   14. Lassus Posted: August 25, 2014 at 08:25 AM (#4778393)
For better or worse, this is a front office that believes in drawing walks and hitting homers, areas Murphy does not excel

Murphy has one more HR (9/8) and four fewer walks (36/40) than Wright this year.

Boy, looking at the Mets offensive stats page on BBRef is depressing.
   15. Conor Posted: August 25, 2014 at 08:32 AM (#4778394)
Re: Herrera-- only 8 games at SS since the promotion, is this just a function of Tovar's presence at Binghamton?


Every scouting report I've read on him is that he doesn't have the arm to play SS. I think he's pretty much locked in as a second basemen.

The idea of trying to play Murphy in the OF, 5 years after he completely bombed there; yeah, I don't see that one happening.
   16. Conor Posted: August 25, 2014 at 08:54 AM (#4778399)
As for the HR and walk thing; I guess it's hard to really say since they have added so few players to the major league roster, but both of the main acquisitions last winter were HR and walk guys, to varying degrees.
   17. formerly dp Posted: August 25, 2014 at 09:01 AM (#4778402)
Murphy has one more HR (9/8) and four fewer walks (36/40) than Wright this year.
I think there's a general confidence that Wright will rebound next year, once his should has had a chance to heal. Not sure if that hope is justified or not. It's weird that they're continuing to run him out there, when he's obviously just not himself, and they're playing meaningless games. Could very easily slide Campbell or Flores over to 3B for the rest of the season, or call up Reynolds. Maybe they're waiting for the roster expansion?

Have you come to terms with the notion that Lucas Duda might be a quality player yet? Keep waiting for him to spiral into an irredeemable slump, and it doesn't happen. #3 1B in the NL by WAR right now at 2.9. Weird. Ike Davis trails a bit at .3.
Every scouting report I've read on him is that he doesn't have the arm to play SS. I think he's pretty much locked in as a second basemen.
Yeah, I thought they were going to press the issue. Tovar's 2014 looks a lot like Tejada's 2009 at the same level-- .289/.351/.381. Tejada was 19 though, and Tovar's 22.
   18. Lassus Posted: August 25, 2014 at 09:13 AM (#4778405)
Have you come to terms with the notion that Lucas Duda might be a quality player yet? Keep waiting for him to spiral into an irredeemable slump, and it doesn't happen. #3 1B in the NL by WAR right now at 2.9. Weird. Ike Davis trails a bit at .3.

Oh, sure. Way better than poor Ike Davis, certainly. Can you guess, without looking, what Duda's OPS is this year so far?
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 25, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4778415)
Oh, sure. Way better than poor Ike Davis, certainly. Can you guess, without looking, what Duda's OPS is this year so far?

Wow, Duda has been a monster vs. RHP (168 wRC+) and hopeless vs. LHP (33 wRC+). Career 139/73 split.

He's turned into a very nice bat, but still needs a caddy.
   20. billyshears Posted: August 25, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4778466)
OK, but do you expect Herrera to be ready to go on opening day 2015? Murphy's an FA after 2015 so if Herrera is the future, that probably argues even more strongly for keeping Murphy then trading him at the deadline if Herrera is ready. In other words, if you want Flores (or whoever) as your opening day 2015 2B, then trading Murphy makes sense ...


I don't think Herrera is ready to start 2015, but I would have no reservations about trading Murphy and giving Flores the job to start the season. The decision as to whether to trade Murphy is all about the return though. He's a good player, and he should only be dealt if the Mets can get a valuable piece back. Obviously if it gets to the point when it looks likely that the Mets would let him walk without a QO, the expected return diminishes, but we're not there yet. But even if we get there, I don't see the point in dealing him for some variety of bullpen piece.
   21. Captain Supporter Posted: August 25, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4778476)
Decent offense, below average defense, hustles, but has poor baseball instincts. There is nothing remotely 'key' about the decision as to what to do with him.

Sherman occasionally spends some time actually thinking about baseball and then writes an interesting article, but most days its just mindless crap like this
   22. formerly dp Posted: August 25, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4778501)
Can you guess, without looking, what Duda's OPS is this year so far?
I'm going with .860. I think his slugging percentage cleared the .500 mark with the multihomer game yesterday, but I expect it to fall back under that by the end of the season. Not really a fair game though since I checked when looking up his WAR in the earlier post.
He's turned into a very nice bat, but still needs a caddy.
For a while that was Campbell, but now he's platooning in LF, right? Josh Satin fit this bill nicely last year, but the Mets don't have a roster spot for him now.
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 25, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4778503)
but has poor baseball instincts.

This seems patently false. A slow guy with poor baseball instincts doesn't go 46-10 in SB attempts over a 3 year period.
   24. Captain Supporter Posted: August 25, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4778516)
You must not watch him play much, snapper. However, maybe 'instincts' is not the right word. 'Judgment' may be better. He just makes a lot of really dumb plays of the kind that make you (and his manager) shake his head in disbelief.

I actually sort of like him as a player. And the fans generally like him, which is worth something to a franchise with a pr problem.
   25. PreservedFish Posted: August 25, 2014 at 11:13 AM (#4778523)
Murphy is tough to define. Sometimes he makes beautiful, fluid plays. Sometimes he is so awkward. He's weird.
   26. formerly dp Posted: August 25, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4778525)
He just makes a lot of really dumb plays of the kind that make you (and his manager) shake his head in disbelief.
I think the best phrase might be "wrongheadedly aggressive". Hearing Keith and Ron comment on these plays is always amusing, because they've just come to terms with the fact that it's part of a whole package they generally seem to like. And particularly given his 2014, it's easy to see why people tolerate his warts-- with Wright and Granderson having pretty terrible years, and Duda as a guy who produces value but while hitting .250, a guy who consistently ropes a hit or two game, and shows up on some leaderboards, will win people over. Plus his boneheaded plays are not for a lack of effort.
   27. Swedish Chef Posted: August 25, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4778526)
Oops, wrong thread.

Let's say something on-topic: Duda is great, Wright looks like a major worry and why the hell did they trade for Eric Young?
   28. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: August 25, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4778528)
Murphy can provide some versatility in that he can play 2b, 3b, and 1b but I doubt that he can play the outfield anywhere. He was completely lost. I think the plan should be that they keep Murphy for at least the start of next season with the hope that Herrera forces himself into the lineup. Herrera has had a great year but he still has not had a lot of experience above AA.

Sandy et al. have made some nice trades but they have not spent money all that well. It's not a good thing that they are trying to get rid of a guy that they gave 60 million dollars to a year ago.
   29. The District Attorney Posted: August 26, 2014 at 07:17 PM (#4779621)
Sherman points out in his article today that the Mets are on pace to become only the second team ever to win 70-79 games for six straight seasons (1970-75 Expos; as you probably know, that franchise didn't even exist before 1969.) Of course, that's not quite as barren a period as the phrasing implies, since at least the Mets haven't been winning fewer than 70. However, perhaps it'd be more fun if they did. At least then there'd be more chance of some future superstars entering the farm system. Especially given that there's another, more successful team in town for people to root for, it takes a special kind of person to stubbornly stand behind meandering malaise. Anyway, that stat just reminded me of how depressing the past few years of Met history have been.

And BTW, it looks like the team is growing more concerned about the condition of Wright's shoulder, and I wouldn't be surprised if he is shut down for the season soon.

As for Murph, as always, it depends what you can get for him. I was really hoping they could find a deal for him this past offseason. But I wouldn't have traded him for Luke Gregerson either. Maybe now if he's a second baseman leading the freakin' league in hits, someone will give us something worthwhile for him next offseason. Or maybe not. I dunno.
   30. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: August 26, 2014 at 09:13 PM (#4779668)
Is it too early to conclude that Flores just can't hit?

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