The New York Mets will likely not retain second baseman Daniel Murphy for the 2016 season despite his strong postseason production, reports the New York Daily News. Murphy is set to be a free agent this off-season for the first time in his career.
“He’s been great, really great,” one Mets team source told the Daily News, “but it changes nothing.”
Murphy, 30, has played for the Mets since they selected him in the 13th round of the 2006 draft. In seven seasons in New York, Murphy has hit .288 with 62 home runs and 402 RBIs in 903 games. This season, he hit .281/.322/.449 in 538 plate appearances and set a career high in home runs with 14 despite missing 32 games with a left quadriceps strain.
Primarily a second baseman, Murphy can play third and first as well, but a rival general manager told the Daily News that he believes Murphy is too expensive a backup for the Mets’ taste.
“If they are keeping their payroll in the same neighborhood, they can’t afford to keep him,” the GM said, according to the Daily News. “He’s making $8 million now, will probably get a bump on that and he's going to want some years.
“They already have all that money invested in Juan Lagares (four years, $22.5 million) and Michael Cuddyer (one year, $10 million) who are both backups now. You can’t keep your payroll under control like that.”
The Mets currently lead the National League Championship Series, 2–0, over the Cubs, and will play Game 3 on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET at Wrigley Field. Free agency begins five days after the conclusion of the World Series.
- Erin Flynn