Daniel Murphy Rumors
Despite the optimistic financial future that principal owner Fred Wilpon recently outlined to reporters, the Mets might not have as much flexibility as anticipated. The team projects to make $22MM this coming season, once debt payments for Citi Field, diminishing attendance and TV revenues are factored in, Josh Kosman of the New York Post reports. Kosman hears that there's "little room this year to raise salaries." Here are some more Mets-related notes as Spring Training continues...
- There was a time last month that GM Sandy Alderson expected the Mets would add Justin Upton or Michael Bourn, John Harper of the New York Daily News reports. The Mets discussed the possibility of trading Daniel Murphy or Ruben Tejada plus younger pitching prospects to Arizona for Upton, who was ultimately dealt to Atlanta. It's not clear how close the Mets were to acquiring Upton, but some say Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers "indicated strong interest" at a certain point.
- MLB also gave the Mets "favorable signals" that they'd be able to sign Bourn without surrendering the 11th overall draft pick, Harper reports.
- Alderson said the organization's top pitching prospects will make an impact at the MLB level, Kevin Kernan of the New York Post reports. "It’s a marker of future success,’’ Alderson said. Manager Terry Collins added that he envisions some of the prospects becoming power arms for his bullpen.
We'll keep track of today's arbitration agreements under $3MM right here..
- The Mets have avoided arbitration with Daniel Murphy by agreeing to a one-year contract worth $2.925MM, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports (Twitter links). The final total is a bit less than the midpoint between the figures exchanged by the two sides; Murphy asked for $3.4MM, the Mets offered $2.55MM. This was Murphy's first year of arbitration eligibility. Murphy, an ACES client, was the last of three arb-eligible Mets players to agree to a deal, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows.
- The Angels and reliever Kevin Jepsen have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $1,181,250. The contract includes awards-based bonuses, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter). Beverly Hills Sports Council represents Jepsen. The deal now means that the Angels have wrapped up all of their arb eligible players this offseason, as the MLBTR Arbitration Tracker shows.
The latest on the Mets..
- Earlier today at the GM meetings, Sandy Alderson brought up the idea of possibly trading Jon Niese or Dillon Gee unprompted, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). The Mets will listen on anyone but are more reluctant to move Niese than others.
- A Mets official told Mike Puma of the New York Post (via Twitter) that the team probably won't trade Daniel Murphy because of the void it would create at second base. Jordany Valdespin would be the alternative and he isn't viewed highly enough in the organization to be moved up into that slot.
- The Mets announced that they have agreed to terms with catcher Mike Nickeas on a minor league deal that includes an invitation to Spring Training.
Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison could miss the rest of the season, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (on Twitter). Miami placed Morrison on the 15-day disabled list with right knee inflammation earlier today. Here are some more NL East links...
- The Phillies may start a partial sale after two consecutive losses to the Braves, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Shane Victorino, Juan Pierre and Joe Blanton could be moved.
- There's interest in Scott Hairston, but the Mets may value him more than his potential suitors do, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes (on Twitter). The Mets see the value of finishing strong and Hairston could help them over the course of the season's final two months.
- Teams are expressing zero interest in left-hander Tim Byrdak, a Mets person tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). The 38-year-old has a 4.76 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9 in an NL-leading 53 appearances this year.
- The Mets haven't been impressed by offers for Daniel Murphy, Martino reports (on Twitter). "We're not trading Murphy for a reliever," a Mets person told Martino.
- The Marlins are telling teams Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle are off-limits, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. They feel committed to Buehrle and believe Reyes will play better now that Hanley Ramirez has been traded. The Marlins are also sure to keep Giancarlo Stanton, Heyman writes.
- The Marlins are reluctant to trade Emilio Bonifacio, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).
- The Padres offered to trade Luke Gregerson for Daniel Murphy, but the Mets rejected the possible deal, John Harper of the New York Daily News reports. Gregerson, 28, has a 3.05 ERA with 9.5 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 44 1/3 innings this year. He earns $1.55MM and will remain under team control through 2014.
The Mets and Dodgers could help each other with a trade of Daniel Murphy for a reliever, speculates ESPN's Buster Olney. While the Mets need bullpen help, the Dodgers would use Murphy at third base, which the Mets feel is his best position (and where he's blocked by David Wright in New York). The two sides came close to a trade involving Murphy last December.
Here's the latest from around the NL East...
- R.A. Dickey had to struggle just to stick with the Mets, relates Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal in this story of how Dickey went from being the low man on the Mets roster to one of baseball's biggest surprises of 2012.
- The Mets passed on re-signing Chris Capuano since they didn't think the lefty could handle a starting role and wasn't worth a two-year contract, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. Capuano has enjoyed a big comeback season with the Dodgers, with whom he signed a two-year, $10MM deal last winter.
- Several of the Marlins' top executives were called to Miami for a meeting today, according to Clark Spencer of the MIami Herald. Sources are split on whether the meeting is standard business or "is anything but" normal procedure, as Spencer figures the club's disastrous June record will be the major topic of conversation in either case.
- David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News breaks down how much payroll the Phillies have spent by position over the last five seasons, with the bullpen getting less of a share every year.
- If you missed it earlier tonight, the Phillies have explored trading Jim Thome to an American League team.
The Mets played their first game in franchise history on this date 50 years ago. The 1962 team was so bad they’ve since become the standard against which other poor teams are measured. To their credit, however, they turned things around before long and won their first World Series seven years later. Here are the latest links from New York...
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post compares Ian Kinsler to Robinson Cano and wonders if Cano is really worth $5-10MM per year more than his counterpart in Texas. Sherman won’t be surprised if some teams are willing to pay Cano more than $20MM per year on a deal that could approach $200MM.
- The second baseman will hit free agency following the 2013 season, assuming the Yankees exercise his option this coming offseason. Sherman gets the sense that Cano would prefer to spend his entire career with the Yankees and GM Brian Cashman has said he views the 29-year-old as a possible Hall of Famer.
- Mike Axisa looked ahead to a possible Cano extension last night.
- The Mets believe Daniel Murphy’s best position is third base, Sherman writes. Since David Wright won’t necessarily be in New York long-term, the Mets may want to see Murphy at the hot corner while Wright’s broken finger heals.
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney points out that David Phelps may be emerging as an electric reliever for the Yankees.
During the Winter Meetings, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti alluded to a near-trade for a position player that fell through. That player was Daniel Murphy of the Mets and they might make another run at him, a source tells Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
Colletti addressed the near-trade during the meetings without naming Murphy or the Mets specifically. The GM said he thought the trade might happen until the other club satisfied its need elsewhere. That apparently was a reference to the Mets trading for Giants outfielder Andres Torres.
Murphy, 26, has been plauged by injuries in recent years. The left-handed hitter missed the entire 2010 season with a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee. In 2011, Murphy hit .320/.362/.448 in 109 games before suffering a torn MCL in his left knee.
TUESDAY, 11:19am: In reference to Murphy, a Mets official told ESPNNewYork's Adam Rubin, "Some players are more valuable to us than other clubs."
MONDAY, 2:19pm: The Tigers, Blue Jays, and Padres inquired on Mets infielder Daniel Murphy, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman adds that the Mets like the Tigers' Andy Dirks as a potential center field alternative to Angel Pagan.
Murphy, 26, hit .320/.362/.448 in 423 plate appearances while playing first base, second base, and third base this year.
Some New York links for you die-hards/insomniacs/early-risers on the East coast...
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff feels that public relations needs to stop being such a factor in the Mets' thinking. His plan for 2012 consists of keeping Angel Pagan and Mike Pelfrey, and signing Frank Francisco to close. If and when they're out of it in July, Davidoff feels Pagan and Pelfrey, along with a solid bullpen arm like Francisco and a revitalized David Wright would fetch a plentiful bounty.
- The Mets' lengthy shopping list consists of a closer, setup man, utility infielder, two backup outfielders, and a catcher, according to Jon Heyman of the MLB Network (on Twitter). Heyman says the largest expenditure for the Amazins will be the closer.
- On a related note, Heyman tweets that the Mets will speak with Jason Isringhausen, though their offer won't be overwhelming.
- In his latest article, Joel Sherman of the New York Post says that some within the Yankees organization feel that 20-year-old center fielder Mason Williams has emerged as their top prospect. While he's yet to even reach High-A ball, Mason possess five tools and the Yankees expect him to develop quickly.
- Sherman also notes that of the three teams that inquired on Daniel Murphy earlier today, the Tigers are the most interested. They view Murphy as a potential third base replacement for Brandon Inge.