Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Murphy’

By Steven Inman

As the Mets lone All-Star last season, Jacob deGrom impressed the baseball world with a strong inning of work at the 2015 All-Star game. The Mets have had just one All-Star each of the past two seasons.

Coming off of a World Series appearance and a strong start to the 2016 season, expect more Mets on the National League roster next month. With just 5 weeks until the annual midsummer classic, this year in San Diego, let’s take a look at who on the Mets has a chance at an All-Star appearance.

Noah Syndergaard: The mighty Thor has picked up right where he left off in the 2015 playoffs. Of this impressive Mets pitching staff, Syndergaard was the only pitcher for New York to win a game in the World Series last season. Syndergaard has dazzled with his 100 mph fastball and a low 90’s slider. If Clayton Kershaw wasn’t in the NL, there would be talk of Syndergaard as a NL Cy Young candidate. Barring an injury, it would be difficult to imagine Syndergaard not being invited to the All-Star game in what should be a great group of young stars on the NL staff.

Noah

Photo from Newsday

Yoenis Cespedes: After a breakout 2 month stretch with the Mets last summer, Yoenis hasn’t stepped off the gas pedal. The slugger has a team high 15 homers and to the surprise of many has played a decent center field through the first third of the season. Cespedes has a few nagging injuries which is the only thing that could slow down the MVP candidate in another walk year. It’s crazy to think what the struggling Met offense would look like without him. Cespedes could be elected as one of the three starting outfielders with the fan vote. He currently ranks 3rd in votes among NL outfielders. If he doesn’t get on that way, expect him to be an alternate in San Diego.

Jeurys Familia: The Mets closer has been perfect in save opportunities this season and is coming off one of the best seasons a Met reliever has ever had. While Familia hasn’t been as great this season as he was last year, he still has been very effective for one of the best bullpens in baseball statically. His 18 saves this season are tied for the most in baseball. Usually relief pitchers get All-Star recognition the year after their breakout season. With Terry Collins in charge of the final few NL roster spots, along with the replacement players, expect Familia and several other Mets to be heading to San Diego.

Steven Matz: The Mets lone rotation lefty has been brilliant after a blowup start against the Marlins in his first outing of the season. Matz has dealt with the injury bug throughout his young career but when he has been on the mound he has been a very pleasant surprise for the Mets. While pitcher wins isn’t the most noteworthy stat in 2016, Matz is 7-1 and has won 11 of his first 12 regular season decisions in his brief time with the Mets. Believe it or not Matz is still just a rookie having pitched less than 50 regular season innings last season. The National League is going to be stacked with pitchers and every club must be represented at the All-Star game but with pitchers bowing out with injuries, expect Matz with another strong month to find a way onto the club.

Neil Walker: While Daniel Murphy has taken his offensive game to a whole other level after departing New York, the Mets new second basemen has emerged as an All-Star caliber player as well. Despite moving to a pitchers park, Walker has found his power stroke, slugging 13 homers in just 53 games. Walker’s career high in homers is just 23 so barring a long slump he should shatter that. What is even more shocking about Walker’s home run total is his ability to hit homers off lefties. In Walker’s career entering this season, the switch-hitter had hit just 6 homers off lefties in 721 at-bats. He already has 5 this season in just 44 at-bats off southpaws. Walker has been streaky for the Mets but overall he is putting up career best numbers in what is a very weak class of candidates at second base for the National League. Only Daniel Murphy and Ben Zobrist are putting up All-Star caliber seasons at second in the NL. Walker has always been a dependable, solid player in Pittsburgh but he has never been an All-Star. Like Cespedes, Walker is also in a contract year.

Jacob deGrom: While everyone seems concerned with deGrom’s loss in velocity, the right-hander is still putting up top of the rotation numbers. Jacob’s strikeouts are down but he still has a strong 2.62 ERA in 9 starts. With all the talk about Matz and Syndergaard, deGrom has fallen under the radar. It seems unlikely the Mets would be able to get three starters on the NL Roster but deGrom can certainly make a case for himself with a strong month.

Addison Reed: With the number of quality closers in the National League this one seems unlikely but the Mets 8th inning guy has been fantastic this season. Reed, 27, has been stellar for the Mets since coming over in a trade last August from the Diamondbacks. With the number of shutdown innings, Reed is putting up, along with the fact that the pitching replacements are Terry Collins’ call, Addison has a shot at his first All-Star appearance. While Reed is unlikely for San Diego it cannot be ruled out.

Expect the Mets to have their most All-Star selections since 2006.

Who should represent the Mets at the All-Star Game?

By Steven Inman  

  Every March on this site, we grade the Mets winter and it usually involves the word “incomplete”. Sandy Alderson and his front office don’t usually do enough in the offseason to have fans and media change their tune when it comes to the outlook of the New York Mets. After reaching the World Series for the first time in 15 years last season, expectations were at an all-time high for the Mets to put on the finishing touches to what could be a world champion roster. Sandy Alderson and his staff will not be getting an “incomplete” for the acquisitions they put in the blue and orange this winter.

Additions:

As you know the Mets big moves this winter were the re-signings of both Yoenis Cespedes as well as Bartolo Colon. Cespedes was a key cog in the Mets revitalized offense back in July. While the slugger did struggle in the postseason, the Mets are very fortunate to have him returning to their lineup. Expect Cespedes to have another quality year in New York before trying to cash in on the open market next offseason. The ageless Bartolo Colon is returning for his third season in Queens, the right-hander was solid for the Mets over his previous contract and reportedly turned down larger offers to return to the Mets. While Bartolo doesn’t have the same potential this season that the Mets other four starters possess, Colon should be able to eat innings for the Mets this season.

The Mets most underrated move this winter was the trade that sent Jonathon Niese to Pittsburgh in exchange for long-time Pirate Neil Walker. The switch-hitting Pirate is an upgrade defensively for the Mets at second base and is a solid hitter. While Walker has never made an All-Star team in his career, the 30-year old has the potential to continue to be a top 5 second basemen in the National League this season.

Walker’s new double play partner Asdrubal Cabrera gives the Mets some much needed depth. While Cabrera isn’t the most “rangy” of shortstops, he is an upgrade defensively over Wilmer Flores. The move allows Flores to play all over the infield. Perhaps most importantly Flores can now spell David Wright a few days a week at third base. Having Flores as the primary right-handed hitter off the bench is a huge upgrade to what the Mets were throwing out there in May and June last season.

Antonio Bastardo will also be a solid late-inning option for the Mets. Terry Collins has said the 8th inning will belong to Addison Reed to start the season but if he struggles Bastardo is more than capable of getting the job done.

Subtractions:

While the Mets spent more money this winter than they seemingly have in a decade, they did lose some key contributors from last year’s pennant winning team.

The subtractions start with Daniel Murphy, who was the second-longest tenured Met behind David Wright before the infielder left for a three-year contract with the Mets biggest rival. Murphy had the greatest postseason a Met has ever had, and the Mets certainly do not reach the postseason without Murphy. With that said the Mets made the right decision to move on from No. 28. Murphy is a good player and he should have a solid season in Washington but Neil Walker is just as good of a player as Murphy and the Mets didn’t have to commit to him long term. Throughout his career Walker has shown better power and higher on-base percentages than Murphy. The Mets also get a compensation pick back for losing their NLCS MVP.

Like Murphy, Jonathon Niese was also one of the longest tenured Mets. Niese had an up and down career with the Mets so it was strange to see the front office was able to spin him for Walker straight up. Trading Niese also freed up a rotation spot to let Bartolo Colon return. The Pirates are hoping for a breakout season from Niese after some work this spring with pitching coach Ray Searage. Niese’s contract wasn’t bad for the Mets but he was certainly expendable. The Mets being able to fill a hole like second base in the process made this move even better.

When the Mets acquired Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson back in July the club really seemed to take off. Both players played well as Mets but once Asdrubal Cabrera signed and Ruben Tejada was tenured a contract, it seemed very unlikely either Johnson or Uribe would be back. Johnson re-signed with the Braves while Juan Uribe went to Cleveland to fill the Indians third base hole.

Veteran outfielder Michael Cuddyer also announced his retirement, forfeiting a majority of his $12.5M 2016 salary. Cuddyer’s sudden retirement likely had an impact on the Mets spending.

Mets Offseason Grade: A+

Yes the Mets had a borderline perfect offseason. They filled all of their holes without trading away key prospects or tying up long-term money. The Mets were able to retain or upgrade every spot on their team. Sandy Alderson and company deserve a ton of credit for the turnaround of the New York Mets. While the Mets look impressive on the field, they must now execute as we get closer and closer to Opening Day.

 

By Steven Inman

New York Mets Spring Training

Daniel Murphy’s bat will be missed on the 2016 Mets

After years of speculation that Daniel Murphy was on his way out of Queens, it has finally happened. Daniel Murphy held out hope this winter that the Mets would change their minds and negotiate with him but it never happened.

With Neil Walker becoming the Mets second basemen, Murphy, the 2nd longest tenured Met, is no longer is a fit. After the Neil Walker trade, Murphy’s agreement to join the rival Nationals came together fairly quickly. The Mets were never interested in bringing Murphy back on anything longer than a one or possibly two-year contract. Even though Murphy wanted to stay, the club really never considered a contract extension for Murph while he wore the blue and orange.

Having draft pick compensation attached to the postseason hero hurt Murphy in free agency, but not enough to prevent him from netting a three-year contract worth a reported $37.5M with the Nats.

While Walker is a very solid player, it is easy to see Murphy returning to Citi Field next season and hurting the Mets in an important divisional matchup.

In a league where offense is down throughout the sport, Murphy’s strengths make him a good fit on most teams but he is a perfect fit for the Washington Nationals. The Nats are extremely right-handed as Bryce Harper and the switch-hitting Danny Espinosa are the only lefty bats in the Nats everyday lineup. (Espinosa is a career .217 hitter left-handed)

Murphy will likely play second base for Washington which will allow Anthony Rendon to continue to play at third base. If Rendon or Ryan Zimmerman (two players who missed a combined 149 games last season) go down Murphy could move all around the infield.

Murphy, 30, is a .294 hitter in 56 career games at Nationals Park. No everyday player struck out less than Murphy in 2015. He is a consistent hitter that will bring some stability to a Nationals lineup that was extremely streaky a season ago. Perhaps most importantly the Nationals are taking away that consistent bat from their biggest threat to take back the NL East.

Will the Mets regret letting Murphy walk?

By Steven Inman

Daniel Murphy and Yoenis Cespedes will be cashing in this winter

Daniel Murphy and Yoenis Cespedes will be cashing in this winter

With the World Series now over, 9 Mets have become free agents. The Mets can’t rest on their NL Pennant and must get to work in bringing back or replacing the players they are losing. Sandy Alderson and company as always will be looking for more power but finding players that can play a little defense too wouldn’t hurt after seeing the infield defense struggle the way that they did in the 5 games vs the Royals.

if the goal is to improve the defense obviously fan favorite Daniel Murphy will not be re-signed. Murphy, 30, will be a free agent for the first time in his career if he declines the qualifying offer, which he is likely to do. He has played in 903 regular season games as a Met and is 2nd on the Mets all-time list in doubles. Murphy has had some incredible moments as a Met most notably 7 homers in the first two rounds of the 2015 playoffs and is the second longest tenured Met behind David Wright but it probably makes the most sense for the Mets to let Murphy sign elsewhere and get a draft pick for him. Wilmer Flores would perform better defensively at second base and it would allow the club to look for a more defensive minded starting shortstop. Murphy is likely deserving of a Chase Headley type contract (4 years, $52M) and the Mets with their limited resources are better off using that money to find shortstop/relief help. Despite his poor play in the World Series, Murphy should be remembered fondly by the Citi Field faithful for his amazing postseason.

Yoenis Cespedes is looking for a contract north of $100 million this winter. Based off his strong 2015 regular season if you compare him to similar outfielders, he certainly deserves it. Having said that it would probably be best for the Mets to spread out that money on a number of players. Cespedes was a key factor in the Mets winning their first division title in nine years as his August was one of the best in Mets history and his homer off Drew Storen really seemed to win the Mets the NL East. That being said he had a difficult postseason and is probably best in a corner outfield spot, where the Mets already have Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson. While the Mets are better off spending their money elsewhere, acquiring Yoenis from the Tigers was one of if not the best move Alderson has made as the Mets General Manager. The Mets should look for a lefty hitting centerfielder to pair with Juan Lagares. A player like Gerardo Parra or Colby Rasmus could work.

Bartolo Colon was a joy for Met fans to watch in 2015. He gave the Mets a chance to win a majority of his time on the mound and his at-bats were must watch tv. After 18 seasons in the big leagues as a starting pitcher, Colon somehow morphed himself into a solid reliever in the playoffs. A reliever that Terry Collins probably should have used more. Colon, 42, is still a serviceable back end starter and likely is looking for a contract in the $6-7M range. While Colon was worth that money for the Mets in 2015, it’s probably best to go with Jonathon Niese in the Mets 5th starter role in the upcoming season.

Tyler Clippard was the move that was supposed to fix the bridge to Jeurys Familia. While that worked at first, Clippard struggled down the stretch and was a disaster in the playoffs. Collins’ loyality to Clippard betrayed him in Game 4 of the World Series. Clippard was unable to get his great changeup down in the zone as a Met and as a result was hit very hard. It is probably best if the Mets look elsewhere for relief help.

The Mets got a lot out of these 4 players in 2015 and while they all have value, it is probably best if the Mets replace these players with cheaper options or even internally. Players like Juan Uribe, Jerry Blevins and Kelly Johnson could have value to the Mets in some type of role and their free agent status should be monitored.

Who should the Mets be looking to re-sign?

By Steven InmanCapture

The Mets roller coaster 2015 season has now come to an end. This may be the Mets most memorable year since 1986. A season that started with an early 11-game winning streak, followed with months of offensive ineptitude, a pair of sensational rookie starting pitchers finding their footing in the bigs, a trade that wasn’t, a trade that was, a strong summer overtaking the division favorite Nationals followed by a magical playoff run. The ride ended on a somber note Sunday when the Royals came back late in Game 5 to defeat the Mets and win the World Series 4 games to 1.

It was a tough ending to a great season but the Mets have plenty to be proud of. The Mets hadn’t been over .500 in 6 straight seasons and somehow found themselves in the World Series.

The weaknesses (infield defense, bullpen) we discussed last March somehow didn’t seem to impact the Mets much in the regular season or even in the first two rounds of the playoffs but New York was really exposed defensively by the Royals put the ball in play approach.

The Royals were 7 of 7 stealing bases off Travis d’Arnaud in the World Series and key errors by Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Lucas Duda really seemed to open the door in three Royals wins. The Mets were simply a bad matchup with the Royals because of the Royals strengths but the World Series would still be going on if the Mets weren’t so sloppy defensively. Looking back on it, the Mets long layoff after the NLCS obviously didn’t help the Mets sleeping offense.

Despite all that this season is a major step forward for the New York Mets. Back in July we were all on “Terry Watch”  waiting to see if Collins would be fired if the team continued to slump offensively. We wondered when Sandy Alderson would finally make a bold move to acquire a hitter. Three months later thanks to those bold moves the offense got hot and New York finally got to see what the Mets Big 4 pitchers could do on the big stage as the Mets won their 5th pennant in franchise history.

The Mets Big 4 pitchers all are under club control for the next few seasons and the Amazin’s will get a full season of Michael Conforto next year so there is no reason to think Terry Collins’ club can’t make another World Series run next season. A lot depends on what Alderson and company do this winter but the Mets should be NL East favorites next season. With the added playoff revenue perhaps the Mets will be able to acquire a bat or two to replace Yoenis Cespedes and Daniel Murphy as they hit free agency.

By Steven Inman 

Daniel Murphy has been circling the bases a lot recently Photo from USA Today

Daniel Murphy has been circling the bases a lot recently
Photo from USA Today

In case you haven’t heard by now, Daniel Murphy is having one of the greatest, if not the all-time best postseason a Met has ever had. Murphy is batting .364 with six home runs and 9 RBI in just 8 postseason games. He has struck fear in several Cy Young candidates.

The Mets new slugger has homered in 5 straight games, matching a postseason record set by Carlos Beltran back in 2004 with the Astros. Many consider Beltran’s run with Houston the greatest contract push in the history of baseball. It was a tear that helped Beltran get a seven year $119 million contract with the Mets 10 years ago.

Coincidentally Murphy is a free agent this winter and as we at BrokeMets have been reporting for months, Murphy is highly unlikely to be back with the Mets next season. They have discussed Murphy in trades the past few seasons (including this year) and believe a combination of Wilmer Flores and Dilson Herrera can be nearly as productive in 2016. The Mets weren’t thrilled about paying Murphy $8 million this season so giving him a raise along with a 4 or even 5-year contract is highly unlikely.

That being said, if the Mets can win five more games, Murphy along with the rest of this Met team will be remembered and revered like the 1969 and 1986 clubs were. Murphy will own a piece of Mets history and will be beloved in New York long after his time as a major league ballplayer is up. If the Mets can win Game 4, barring something unforeseen Murphy is likely to be named NLCS MVP, an honor that only one other Met has ever had. (Mike Hampton, 2000)

Heading into the Postseason Murphy’s camp was likely looking for a contract near what Chase Headley got from the Yankees last winter (4-years $52 million) where they would ultimately settle for a Martin Prado type contract. (4-years $40 million) Now after one of the greatest power streaks over the last decade of postseason baseball, Murphy is likely to command Chase Headley money which probably thrills the Mets front office.

The Mets are probably ecstatic that Murphy continues drive up his price. First off and most importantly, Murphy is leading the Mets to their 1st World Series berth since 2000. Secondly now the Mets can offer Murphy the $15.8M qualifying offer without a guarantee that he would accept it. If Murphy declines the Mets get a top draft pick should he sign elsewhere. If he accepts the deal (unlikely) then the Mets could trade their postseason hero who will be on another one -year deal. He would still have a market on a $15.8M one-year contract. Jon Heyman reported today that the Mets are now looking to offer Murphy the QO. Lastly now the front office can reasonably justify to the fan base that they tried to keep Murphy by extending him the Qualifying Offer and that their resources are better used elsewhere than matching the large contract he could receive.

A 13th round pick back in 2006 by the Mets, Murphy has given everything he has to the Amazin’s. Last season he was the Mets lone All-Star player and now he and the rest of his Met teammates have gotten the recognition that they now deserve. For someone who works as hard as Murphy it is nice to see a player perform when the lights are the brightest. Continue to enjoy this run Met fans…

By Steven Inmanima

When the Mets offense was going well the first couple weeks Daniel Murphy was the lone Met not hitting. Murph hit .198 with a .258 OBP in April. May has been an entirely different story for both Murphy and the Mets. Murphy has gotten red hot and is hitting .329 with a .376 OBP in May but has been the only Met player to hit this month. Murphy leads the Mets in RBI with 24. Remember Murphy was battling a hamstring injury all March and never really had a Spring Training.

It is no secret if you read this blog that Danny Murphy will not be a Met for much longer. The Mets believe they have his heir apparent currently on the DL in Dilson Herrera. While Murphy in 2015 is clearly the better hitter, the Mets would save $7.5 million by letting go of Murph and would improve defensively.

The question is not if but when Murphy will be elsewhere. The Mets will move Murphy at the trade deadline if they are out of the race. If they are near a playoff spot they can’t justify to the fan base moving one of their better hitters in a pennant race so they will just let him depart in free agency this winter.

Murphy has been a loyal player for the Mets now for eight seasons. A natural third basemen, Murphy has moved from left field, then first base, to second base, back to third and then back to second. The point is despite his defensive shortcomings, Murphy has never been afraid to move to an unfamiliar position if the Mets felt it was in the clubs best interest. That is not something that can be said for a lot of players who have established themselves offensively.

Murphy is one of those rare players that wants to win as bad as David Wright does. The two of them are the “gym rats” on the team so it is really a shame that Murphy’s only winning season to date came in 2008, his rookie season when the ball club failed to make the postseason by a single game.

Murphy’s future is entirely based on the Mets other hitters. If the club continues to not put up a competitive offense, then Murphy will be traded to a contender near the deadline. If Met hitters like Curtis Granderson and Michael Cuddyer can get it going, then the Mets will be contenders and they will need Murphy’s bat here. In that scenario Murphy and Met fans will get the pennant push that they desperately crave.

The Mets being contenders in 2015 has become as simple as this, if they can score runs they will win games. The Mets have the third best record in baseball when scoring 4 runs or more.