The Mets now have no excuse to not try and bring back Daniel Murphy. He still has what it takes to held lead the team next season.
For the last couple of seasons, it looked as if the odds of Murphy coming back to the Mets were very low. He was playing extremely well with the Nationals ans some fans thought that he would either stay with the Nationals after 2018 or demand an even bigger contract.
Throughout the course of the 2018 season, that started to look less and less like the truth. Two things have happened this year that make it more and more possible that he could come back to Queens.
First of all, he hasn’t been playing the way he normally does with the Nationals. In fact, he started playing a lot more like he did in his old Mets days. He missed a good chunk of the season due to an injury and looks like he will finish the season hitting between .290 and .305 with around 10 home runs and 40 RBI’s.
Secondly, it doesn’t even look like the Nationals even want him anymore after they traded him to the Cubs. Of course, there’s the possibility that the Nationals do bring him back for next season, but because they traded him after the trade deadline, that idea kind of fades away. if the Nationals were playing correctly, they would have either extended him by now or traded him before the deadline for the maximum return.
So, even though on the surface he still looks like a great player, his skills are slowly fading away and one of the few teams who could really use him most of all look like they don’t want him at all anymore.
In fact, the Cubs don’t even really need Murphy either, and it’s most likely that they won’t give him an offer for next season, meaning the two teams he played for this season might back away from him next year.
Why don’t the Cubs need him? Because of Ben Zobrist. Murphy isn’t that big of an upgrade over Zobrist, who spent more time at second base than any other position. He’s played 352 innings there over 50 games entering Tuesday.
Murphy has a .300 batting average over 56 games. Zobrist has a .306 average over 102 games. He’s been hitting better than Murphy over a much larger playing time. Murphy just has a slight edge in power and driving in runs. Plus Zobrist still has one year left on his contract and hasn’t made an error yet this season at second base.
It would be foolish for the Cubs to move Zobrist full time out of second, even more foolish to continue that experiment into next season. This is going to leave Murphy with only a handful of places to go and the Mets need to be one of them.
Even though he’s making a little over $17 million this year, a contract for next season should be worth much less and having him be the full time starter at second or have him work with McNeil would instantly make the 2019 a better team over the course of the whole season.
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It’s really a no brainer to at least try to bring him back. Aside for bringing back Murphy, there are many other ways the Mets could go if they want to sign or re-sign a second baseman.