The New York Mets pretty much showed Daniel Murphy from day 1 they weren’t giving him a long term deal, but he still thought they’d change their mind. Now, with his October heroics somewhat forgotten, the only realistic landing places for him might be in the American League, and specifically with the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers.
Murphy was magical for the Mets in the NLDS and NLCS, hitting 7 home runs to take them into the World Series where things didn’t work out for him quite as well. He got a one-year qualifying offer worth $15.8 million which he rejected, thinking the Mets were going to offer him a longer deal in due time. But once they traded for Neil Walker, who is a much better defensive player, Murphy finally understood he should have been shopping himself to other teams a lot sooner.
What’s the problem for Murphy, 30, who is looking for a three year deal? Because of the qualifying offer, it means teams need to give up a draft pick for him. He’s a solid hitter (.281 with 14 home runs last season) and can play a number of infield positions, but his defense keeps some teams away from him, not really looking forward to giving up a draft pick for a player that hasn’t really done anything special except for two series in the 2015 postseason.
The White Sox and Tigers might offer a solution. Because of how poorly they did last season, their first round picks are protected, which means they’re more willing to head into negotiations with Murphy. The American League might be better suited for him, giving him the opportunity to play some Designated Hitter from time to time, hiding his defensive flaws. The Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Angels and Pittsburgh Pirates have also been linked to Murphy during the offseason, but never made an offer.
Murphy will probably be looking for a 3-4 year deal worth around $40 million. He made $8 million last season for the Mets, but the timing of everything really hurts his value and his ability to leverage a richer deal.