Sep 21, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy (28) hits a home run during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Revisiting The Daniel Murphy Debate

As the 2013 regular season draws to a close, here’s my latest scouting report on Daniel Murphy.  In the two years Murphy failed to achieve 500 plate appearances in a season (2008, 2011), he finished the year batting above .300 each time.  In his three full seasons with over 500 trips to the plate (2013, 2012 and 2009) he failed to finish above .300 each time.  It is probably  premature to speak of this season like that, considering Murphy is currently batting .284 and up-ticking with seven games left on the schedule.  Can he break the batting trend he set for himself?  Daniel is batting .317 (14 for 45) over his last ten games, so to be fair, why not?

With well over 100 more at-bats this year than he had in 2009, Daniel Murphy has only recently tied his career mark for home runs in a season with 12 after 627 times up.  He previously hit 12 in 508 at-bats during the 2009 season.  They represent the only seasons he finished in double-digits.  To Murphy’s credit, he doubled his output this year over his previous two seasons combined.  I often wondered if Daniel Murphy sacrificed a measure of power in exchange for more agility to play a better second base.

To date, Daniel Murphy leads the Mets with 73 runs batted in, which also happens to be his new career high, and with 90 runs scored, he is still adding to that new career mark as well.  He additionally continues to be a doubles hitting machine, and is presently four away from tying his high of 40 set last season.  This was also the first time Daniel Murphy ever stole as many as 20 bases in a season.  He established his previous high last season with ten.  In fact, SNY threw out a stat Saturday night that Murphy is currently one of only three players with at least ten home runs, 35 doubles and 20 stolen bases.

However, Daniel Murphy still does not draw many walks.  Considering his career .289  batting average, his career .333 OBP is not all that impressive.  He has drawn only 31 bases on balls this season, so his current .318 OBP similarly is not that great next to his .284 average.

Daniel Murphy is 28 years old now, but still two years away from free agency.  He has obvious value to the Mets if they choose to retain him.  But the club could probably maximize his value on the trading market this coming offseason rather than wait too long.  With two years of control, a receiving team might find acquiring him worth their while and for a worthy price.

What should the Mets do with Daniel Murphy now?


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  • Joe_JP

    Heart/head thing. Murphy to me is a “Met” along with a handful of other people. As a fan, I like to root for specific players as well as the team as a whole. Murphy is a character and a face of the team. I realize this might be the height of his trading value. But, what will they get for him? He also is a streak-y player.

    Anyway, this debate was in place last off-season too. Me, I see holes at OF, SS and starting rotation (with Harvey at risk). The talk is that they will work from w/i as to 1B, though personally, that is a question mark to me too. I haven’t see Flores showing me he could surely fill-in at 2B. So, it kills me to add another hole.

    I realize the arguments. I would keep him unless something very good comes.

    • MikeLecolant.BTB

      I feel including Murphy in a trade with one of our pitchers, and maybe another prospect, could spark that proverbial sleeper blockbuster deal no one sees coming. If the Mets intend to shell out real money in two years to keep Murphy, why not investigate whether there is a more prodigious way to maximize their dollar?

    • Joe_JP

      A “sleeper blockbuster” would probably be “something very good,” which can include him as a package deal. So, I’m not against anything. Just (1) sentimentally, I am sadden by it. (2) it would have to be something of that caliber for me.

      I know it is not specifically at issue here, maybe, but at times I see people sneering at Murphy & not respecting how much he is in effect a “Met” and the fantasy baseball implications bother me.

    • MikeLecolant.BTB

      I hear you loud and clear. He’s one of the longest tenured Mets players, and a real decent guy. I would like to see him partake in future success in Flushing. The deal must be right. Fantasy implications are always hilarious! Welcome to the modern age of being a fan.

  • Gerard McGinnis

    Keep him .With so many positions to fill ,why trade a guy who would be a good middle of the lineup guy.

    • MikeLecolant.BTB

      In order to be a legit three-hitter, he clearly needs protection behind him. The return of David Wright demonstrated that yet again. This team needs a genuine clean-up hitter. I’ve been quite satisfied with him batting second.

  • John T. Smith

    The Mets have way too many holes to fill and Murphy at second base is one of the few field positions that are MLB caliber.

    • MikeLecolant.BTB

      He has turned himself into one of the better second basemen of the league. That’s perhaps the strongest reason to keep him. But how much will the Mets be willing to pay him when that bill comes due?

    • John T. Smith

      After years of overpaying players who come to Flushing and don’t perform, maybe it’s time the front office stops being cheap with our home-grown players.

    • MikeLecolant.BTB

      …and so the saga continues.

  • mikefer

    Why is everyone always talking about trading Murphy, when he happens to be the second best player on this team.If anyone should be on this team next year it’s Murphy.Instead of trading our good ball players trade our GM instead.

    • MikeLecolant.BTB

      I think the urge to trade Murphy stems from some sort of lingering stigma that he’s not a real second baseman. But after this last season, that argument now gets lost on me. As far as my thinking, the Mets have multiple needs, you have to give to get, and lastly, nothing ventured nothing gained. I do not begrudge passionate Murphy supporters. What’s not to like?