The Mets felt comfortable in letting Daniel Murphy go in free agency for several reasons, a decision that ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin notes is certainly worth second-guessing given Murphy’s huge season with the Nationals. Perhaps the biggest factor for the Mets was their belief that Murphy could deliver a good average but little else. Murphy, of course, has contributed 25 homers and a .340/.383/.593 slash line, pretty resounding the Mets’ criticisms about his lack of power or plate discipline. (He has also been above average on the basepaths, as per Fangraphs’ baserunning metric.) Murphy is looking like a bargain signing for the Nats while second base is a question mark for the Mets heading into 2017.
Here’s some more from around baseball…
- For now, “the most logical scenario” between the Royals and Edinson Volquez is that the club will issue Volquez a qualifying offer that the righty will decline in search of a multi-year contract elsewhere, Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star writes as part of a reader mailbag piece. It may seem odd that the Royals would risk issuing a one-year, $16.7MM deal to a 33-year-old with a 5.02 ERA through 166 2/3 innings, though the starting pitching market is so thin that Volquez may indeed be able to find a longer-term commitment. If Volquez leaves, Dodd figures K.C. will pursue inexpensive free agent starters, or possibly look for a higher-caliber arm by trading one of its core roster players.
- The Yankees heavily reloaded on blue chip minor leaguers with their deadline trades, and John Harper of the New York Daily News wonders if the club will try to deal from this newfound prospect depth to acquire a frontline starter this winter. Jose Fernandez may be the most available ace on the market, given that the Marlins may not have the money to keep him before he hits free agency after the 2018 season. Landing Fernandez would likely cost the Yankees Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, one of Jorge Mateo or Gleyber Torres and probably one more pitching prospect. It might take an even biggest prospect package than that to acquire Chris Sale given Sale’s club-friendly contract, while the Athletics’ Sonny Gray or the Rays’ Chris Archer are coming off down years and may be too risky for the Yankees given the prospect cost it would take to acquire them.
- Cuban second baseman Jose Miguel Fernandez and righty Norge Ruiz will play for Aguilas Cibaenas of the Dominican League this winter, Baseball America’s Ben Badler reports. It will present both players with a valuable opportunity to perform in front of MLB scouts, particularly Fernandez since the infielder hasn’t in competitive games for almost two full years. That long layoff may have contributed to Fernandez still being unsigned despite being declared a free agent in April, though Badler notes other factors like teams being pretty set at second base and scouts having questions about Fernandez’s power, fielding and speed. Ruiz left Cuba in May 2015 but has yet to be officially declared a free agent, which Badler finds curious given how several Cuban players have been cleared by the league in far less time.
- Justin Morneau hopes to play some first base if he plays in 2017, CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes writes. Morneau has only served as a DH since joining the White Sox, thanks to his rehab from elbow surgery and his lack of a Spring Training. With a proper spring under his belt next season, Morneau feels he can return to his old position at least a couple of times per week. It should also be noted that Morneau’s free agent value will obviously increase if he is able to play a position rather than be limited to a designated hitter role.