And the ink keeps on flowing. Per Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, the Mets have avoided arbitration with Daniel Murphy, settling on a one-year, $5.7 million contract with the second baseman. This makes Daniel the fifth Met in three days to sign a deal before arbitration became necessary, joining Ruben Tejada, Ike Davis, Eric Young, and Bobby Parnell. Only Lucas Duda and Dillon Gee remain unsettled.
Murphy’s deal includes up to $50,000 in incentives for 500 plate appearances in 2014. He earned $2.9 million last season, negotiating in his first year of arbitration, and is due for free agency after the 2015 season.
Murphy, who turns 29 in April, hit .286 with 13 home runs and 78 RBIs in 2013, mostly from the two-spot in the batting order. After struggling with injury issues during the 2010 and 2011 campaigns, Daniel has been one of the few Mets to stay consistently healthy. He has appeared in 317 of a possible 324 games over the past two seasons, primarily as starting second baseman.
Every team needs a hitter like Murphy, and it’s great that the Mets were able to lock him up for another year. He was a lynchpin in the lineup, especially when David Wright went down. He is a slap hitter who is discovering his power; it’s possible he hits 20 home runs in 2014, especially with the protection of not just Wright but Curtis Granderson and Chris Young.
What this says is that New York intends to hold onto Murphy for the time being. There were trade rumors during the team’s flurry of activity in December, but the speculation has died down as of late. In all likelihood, Daniel will be the team’s starting second baseman come Opening Day. The only thing that could change that arrangement is if the organization gives up on both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda and decides to install Murphy at first base instead.