Report: Mets could trade Murphy, slide Flores to second base
The Mets are kicking around the idea of trading Daniel Murphy, shifting Wilmer Flores to second base, and promoting Matt Reynolds to play shortstop, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported.
According to Rosenthal, the trade market for Murphy hasn’t yet developed, and the Mets would prefer to have Reynolds get acclimated while playing next to David Wright — still on the disabled list — on the left side of the infield.
While playing shortstop this season, Flores has made nine errors (three fielding and six throwing).
Playing in the hitter-friendly PCL for Triple-A Las Vegas, Reynolds is hitting .299/.365/.442 with two home runs and 26 RBI in 167 plate appearances.
Murphy, who was slowed down at the beginning of the season due to a hamstring injury, is hitting .246/.301/.366 with two home runs and 20 RBI in 146 plate appearances. Murphy’s BABIP is .248, meaning he’s likely due for a bump in average.
Murphy is set to become a free agent after the season.
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Positional issues aside, with the Mets almost certainly not bringing Murphy back and unlikely to extend a qualifying offer to him, it might make sense simply from a roster management standpoint to get something for him now.
Now onto the positional issues…
Even before Wilmer Flores’ defensive failures at shortstop, I was in favor of dealing Murphy — either prior to the season or during the season — in order to open up second base for either Flores or Dilson Herrera.
With Flores struggling so mightily defensively, having him and Murphy up the middle is a recipe for disaster, and it’s really something the Mets should address sooner rather than later. If trading Murphy is the way to fix the issue, they should start working the phones.
Replacing Murphy with Flores at second base might just be a wash defensively, but having Reynolds replace Flores at shortstop would be an improvement.
The question then becomes how much of a dropoff Reynolds would be from Murphy offensively, and whether or not that can be made up for with steadier shortstop play than the Mets have gotten so far.
Looking a bit down the road, when Dilson Herrera is ready to return from his broken finger, he could conceivably step in, with Reynolds heading to the bench and Flores heading back to shortstop. Under that scenario, at least Flores’ shortcomings at shortstop would be made up for a bit by the increased range of Herrera at second base.