3 free agents who left the Mets in their prime
By Tim Boyle
Knowing when to walk away from a free agent is important for a team’s success. After the 2022 season, the New York Mets had some major decisions when it came to who they would or wouldn’t retain. Big names like Brandon Nimmo and Edwin Diaz stayed while Jacob deGrom landed elsewhere.
When it comes to free agency, a front office can only do so much to keep a player. There are instances where the school district in Denver is too good for a free agent like Mike Hampton to want to stay in Queens.
The Mets were right to let a couple of popular free agents in the past walk away. Three other times they were wrong to let these guys leave even if there was little chance of convincing them to stay.
1) NY Mets let free agent Daniel Murphy walk away in his prime
This was a big one. Maybe the prime example, although there is another on this list of a recent free agent the Mets let walk away only to do some spectacular work in another city. Fresh off of his terrific 2015 postseason run, Daniel Murphy headed into the free agent pool and landed with the rival Washington Nationals.
The contract was quite modest at three years and $37.5 million. The Mets would replace him with Neil Walker via trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Walker was a good second baseman. Murphy, however, would dominate.
Murphy won back-to-back Silver Sluggers in 2016 and 2017. He led the league in doubles both years. His 2016 season was especially amazing. It included career-highs in doubles (47), home runs (25), and RBI (104). His .347/.390/.595 slash line helped his case in the MVP race even further. Murphy finished second. It was Kris Bryant who would win the award.
Keeping Murphy may not have made enough of a difference for the Mets against Madison Bumgarner in the Wild Card Game. You never know, though. In his one trip to the playoffs with New York, he proved there were some Mr. October genetics in his bloodline.