New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy is reportedly drawing interest from a number of teams, including the San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
Both the Giants and Blue Jays rank towards the bottom of baseball in terms of production from the keystone despite currently sitting on top of their divisions. Brandon Hicks hit .172/.289/.339 for the Giants before being replaced by the recently called up Joe Panik, who profiles more as a utility player than a regular second baseman. The Blue Jays, who had a scout in Miami to watch the Mets this weekend (possible coincidence), have mixed-and-matched the likes of Steve Tolleson, Munenori Kawasaki, and Brett Lawrie to little avail.
Murphy, who is making $5.7 million this year, is on pace for the best season of his career. In 340 plate appearances, the 29-year-old is hitting .298/.353/.417 with a 120 OPS+, 119 wRC+, .339 wOBA, and 2.2 WAR. He is currently pacing the National League with 92 hits, and is on pace to score 100 runs and steal 23 bases as well. He is eligible for free agency following next season.
While the Mets should be sellers at next month's deadline considering their current standing and roster construction, there appears to be some hesitation to concede within the front office. Per Martino:
My understanding in talking with Alderson and other Mets officials over the past few weeks is that the team does not consider itself a seller. The National League East is too mediocre and unpredictable, as evidenced once again by the Mets’ winning three of four against the Marlins, and pulling to within five games of first-place Washington. Is this a good team? Of course not; they’re 34-40. But, in the weird world of 2014 baseball, they’re not buried, either.
Murphy is no stranger to the trade block. The Mets apparently shopped him at the winter meetings in December, but were unable to find a reasonable return package. Murphy's value appears to be much higher at the moment considering the season he is having, so for a team that is best-suited to contend in 2015 or 2016, now would seem to be the most opportune time to deal Murphy.
One roadblock in moving Murphy could be the Mets' lack of a quality replacement candidate at second base. New York has a pair of possible replacements in the upper minors with Dilson Herrera and Matt Reynolds, though the Mets' most likely move would be to shift the 22-year-old Wilmer Flores, who has played mostly shortstop this year, over to second base for the remainder of the season.