Are Mets Looking To Move Murphy?

The Mets want Daniel Murphy to learn to play multiple positions in part because it would increase his trade value, writes Brian Costa of the Star-Ledger.  A person familiar with the team's thinking told Costa that they will send the first baseman to Triple-A when he returns from a right knee sprain.  The demotion will give him an opportunity to learn other positions and take more at-bats than he would in the majors.

The 24-year-old Murphy has been unseated at first base by 23-year-old Ike Davis.  If Murphy can acclimate himself to left field and second base, he would become a more valuable asset whether he stays or goes elsewhere.

In his 204 games on the varsity squad, Murphy has hit .275/.331/.437.  His career UZR/150 at his preferred position is 8.6, while he posted a -9.0 in left field.  However, sample size should be taken into account as he played just 59 total games in left.


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18 Comments on "Are Mets Looking To Move Murphy?"


alphakira
5 years 4 months ago

As a Mets fan I can happily say that we finally have a good problem to have – too many solid players at one position. Obviously Murph isn’t going to set the world on fire, but the guy has a solid bat and baseball knowledge and works his butt off trying to improve. I wouldn’t mind seeing him try out second.

Infield Fly
5 years 4 months ago

Although Murph has done some good things at 1B, it is a position that doesn’t require much mobility. I don’t think he has the instincts or quickness required to handle 2B successfully. I think the Mets would do well to let him share some time with Ike at 1B, and [hopefully] build up his market value. The Mets don’t have a lot to offer in trade, so when a need arises, packaging him with what little else there is could help the team fill that need.

sektorfire
5 years 4 months ago

I’d take Murphy at 2nd regardless of how badly he plays. Are you telling me you’d rather have Luis Castillo?? Like he’s a gold glove contender or something? Find a place for this kid, he’s a decent bat to have.

bigpat
5 years 4 months ago

Murphy doesn’t have the bat to play at first base, he’ll have to play at second or be a utility type for the Mets or anyone else. He’s not going to get a ton of hits, but has some gap power, and that’s about it. He’s a fairly useful player, and that’s about it.

withpower
5 years 4 months ago

I think his bat is pretty good. 12 HR 38 2Bs at 24? Mets should trade him if they don’t have a spot for him. Send him to a team that will just stick him at one of the corners and let him hit.

VinnyG917
5 years 4 months ago

I like the idea of having him learn 2nd base, on top of 1st, and (some) corner outfield. But I don’t think the Mets should trade him just yet. After coming off a knee sprain, no team will think “oh hey, theres a solid pickup.” Send down Mr. Smithtown (F-Cat) and Murphy can take over his role: a PH that can play 1B and OF if necessary. Maybe later in the year (or next year) his trade value will be higher.

Zack23
5 years 4 months ago

Yeah he’s a double hitters and has some good numbers in the minors, but his OBP was also .313 last year.

But how much value going to increase by being a PH and starting maybe once a week? If that’s 7 ABs a week, then he’ll get around 84 by the trade deadline- if he came back today. And what are you expecting in return?

VinnyG917
5 years 4 months ago

I get what you’re saying, and your right; getting 1 PA a day isn’t going to increase his trade value. But on the other side, what would people think if he played in AAA? Even if he hit .300 in AAA, would they consider that comparable to at least .280 in the majors? It will be a tough project, and to be honest, I don’t know what they could/would want to get from Murphy. Of all the positions, Mets are probably looking most to improving 2B (or if they know something bad about Beltran we dont, then they will look for CF). But what kind of market is there, and what will Murphy have to be coupled with to get someone decent in return? Anyone else have any answers? I’m definitely stumped

Zack23
5 years 4 months ago

It’s a lose-lose; him hitting in AAA is only going to raise his value so much, and being a PH isnt going to be much either.

But no team is going to give up an every-day 2B or CF for just Murphy, and the whole not having a real position thing goes against him as well.

East Coast Bias
5 years 4 months ago

UZR for first basemen is so skewed.

mulhod
5 years 4 months ago

Guys, you are so delusional about this kid. Let me give you a perspective: I am a Phillies fan and that puts me in a position to judge Mets players without any emotional attachment and I’ve been living in New York for a couple years now and have been watching Murphy because I’ve seen a ton of Mets games (something I never actually thought I’d do!). Murphy is not even tradeable right now and he might not be tradeable in the future either. In fact, if the Mets just flat-out released him, I’m not so sure that another team would even pick him up! This isn’t a Phillies fan just being mean toward Mets fans – I’m telling you, you guys are delusional about Murphy, I don’t know what it is. He couldn’t play outfield, he serviceable at first, but not good, and he nowhere near the power-profile that first-basemen should have, and he could not play second either, so you basically just won’t hear about Murphy again. He’ll probably be quietly released at some point or he’ll just remain in the Mets system. As for Luis Castillo, I know you Mets fans hate him, I understand that, but he’s better than you give him credit for – certainly a lot better than Murphy would be at second! I know why Mets fan hate him – it’s not only the contract and the fact that the Mets can’t get rid of him and can’t get a number of better second-basemen (O. Hudson) and that he is inevitably contrasted with Utley in Mets fans eyes, which just isn’t fair to him, but you guys hate him because of the pop fly he dropped to the Yanks. You guys gotta put that aside and realize that there’s no question whether or not Castillo is better than Murphy would be at second base.

VinnyG917
5 years 4 months ago

Phillies fans are not in a position to judge Mets players objectively. Regardless, I am with you somewhat about how most Met fans hate Castillo. His strength had always been OBP, and that really hasn’t faltered tremendously. Yes, his speed and fielding are down, but you are right in that Murphy won’t bring that to the table at second either. Murphy did have a positive UZR at first (2.3) but as we have pointed out, 1st UZR is sort of skewed. But I do think Murphy can hit more than you give him credit for. He has a fairly low K percentage (15 career, 13 last season), so he almost always puts the ball in play, which is worth something.

mulhod
5 years 4 months ago

When I say “without emotional attachment”, I mean simply that there’s no sentiment in myself that wants to see Murphy succeed for the Mets, so I’m not making excuses for him or saying, “Well, maybe…”, but as a Phillies fan of course you’re right about my total objectivity when it comes to the Mets. But I can tell you that because I’ve kind of followed the Mets while I’ve lived in New York that I also am not just hating on a Met, that I really have seen Murphy’s play in the field and at the plate. To the people who are saying that he has good instincts on the field, I just don’t understand where that idea is coming from – he doesn’t look like he can move very well, he doesn’t really have any speed, and I’m no baseball expert but it doesn’t seem that he should even be on the same field as Reyes. And, if you’re using him as a utilityman, then what’s the definition of that position, after all? If Murphy’s going to get better and develop (and it’s not like I’m saying that they should kick him out of baseball), then he should be in the minors since there’s no place for him on the Mets.

MLBDC3
5 years 4 months ago

What’s the worst thing that can happen if/when the Mets attempt Murphy at 2B? He fails? He’s been a mediocre LF at best, hit well at 1B, but to shift Ike back to AAA to make room for Murphy would be disasterous to Ike’s psyche and ruin the clubs chemistry. Send Murphy back to AAA, give him reps at 2B and wait for the results.
The Mets are doing ok with Castillo at 2B. Although he’s not the most desired 2B, he is a solid verteran who is respectfully filling the gap until the Mets can figure it out. Like a poster said above: Finally the Mets have a good problem. And one more thing, BRAVO to the job Barajas and Blanco have done for the Mets pitching staff. Only a (set of) prefessional catchers such as these two can turn around a pitcher like they have (ala Pelfrey and Niese). Good Job Omar in signing these two.

Zack23
5 years 4 months ago

Yeah, don’t need UZR to see if he’s a good OF or not. I dont think anyone was impressed with him out in LF, which is why he is at 1B. And didnt they try him at 2B in the AFL before last season? Obviously they didnt like what they saw because then they put him in LF.
Think it’s wishful thinking to think he can go down and learn to play the position at an average level by the trading deadline.

adropofvenom
5 years 4 months ago

Minor league “Fielding Stats” don’t really mean a whole lot. For one, the official scorers aren’t very good and assign E to just about anything, fair or not. For two, field quality is well below that of the big leagues, which only multiplies the number of bad hops, ect, that you have to face. And for three, they’re generally young and inexperienced out there. Jeter once had 56 errors in a season in the minors. I’m sure looking at those numbers you would have assumed that he’d never make it as a SS in the majors. I see no reason why Murphy couldn’t be an average defensive 3B if you let him play the position every day (Obviously, he can never play the position for the Mets though due to David Wright). He moves well enough to man the position, he seems to have good instincts in the infield, he would be fine out there.

He could probably also play 2B if you’re willing to accept a -5 or so fielder out there due to his lack of typical middle infielder range. But he should hit enough to make up for the plays he doesn’t make. Last year was essentially his rookie season, judging him off of that like he’s never going to improve at the plate doesn’t seem right.

For the love of god, never let him see the outfield though. At least not unless he drastically improves his ability to read fly balls out there.

Yankees420
5 years 4 months ago

The guy is a league average hitter and can’t truly play any position besides 1B, that’s not just conception. I know his AA numbers look nice and if he posts numbers like that at AAA, then yes he will garner some interest, but a .161 ISO from 1B isn’t something special.

Zack23
5 years 4 months ago

No one said he’s done improving; but he’s 24 and they’re trying to find him a position- not exactly a good thing, and it’s not like his bat can make up for bad defense either.

Sure given time he can improve in the OF, but by how much and how long? There are alot of OF who we THINK should be good OFs, but they’re not. So what makes you think Murphy can do it?