The New York Mets haven't made many splashes this offseason. Right now, the team is constantly trying to shop either Ike Davis or Lucas Duda. But there is growing talk that second baseman Daniel Murphy could also be traded soon, according to Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News.
Sandy Alderson, don't do it!
Murphy is one of the hardest working players on the Mets. He constantly makes sacrifices for the team. He is also one of the best hitters in any recent Mets lineup. So, don't do it!
Andy Martino of the New York Daily News tweeted out on December 8 that the Mets were willing to trade Murphy. Since then, no one in the Mets organization has stepped up and squashed the story.
Last season, Murphy was the leader in every offensive category besides the number of home runs hit. But even though he didn't lead the team in home runs, he still contributed 13 homers. In the previous two years, he hit just six home runs each season.
Murphy led the dismal Mets in 2013 with a .286 batting average as well as a .319 OBP and 78 RBI.
He led the team by example. He always hustled and went for the extra mile. For instance, at 0:33 in the above video, Murphy busts out of the box and runs as hard as he can around the bases. That leads to a triple rather than a double, and his hit even gives the Mets a 4-3 lead over Miami late in the game.
What's really impressive about Murphy is that he's a total workhorse. In fact, he has battled injuries throughout his entire career, but it seems like he always comes back stronger.
He refuses to makes his injuries an excuse.
Instead, he uses the experience to push forward.
After tearing his MCL in August of 2011, he was forced to end his season early. Murphy came back and played 156 games in 2012. In 2013, no Mets player played more games than he did. Murphy played 161 out of the team's 162 games.
Over the past three seasons, Murphy has increased his extra-base hits from 36 in 2011 to 55 in 2013. He also improved from 49 RBI in 2011 to 65 RBI in 2012 and 78 RBI in 2013.
Additionally, Murphy has been stealing a lot more bases. He stole five bases in 2011, 10 bases in 2012 and 23 bases in 2013.
And he hasn't just improved offensively. To keep his career alive, he had to make some defensive changes as well.
The natural third baseman had to learn how to play second base in time for 2012. After struggling in the outfield when he first got called up to the majors, reporters and fans alike doubted his ability to then play second base. But he worked day in and day out, trying to perfect his fielding skills as best as he can.
By 2013, there was no doubt in Murphy being the Mets' second baseman. Entering 2014, there certainly does not seem to be a better second baseman candidate for the Mets other than Murphy.
Who can replace him? At this point, I don't think anyone can. The Mets are supposedly listening to offers from multiple teams, per Ackert. But they have not been satisfied with the value on any of the offers.
If the Mets can find someone who has 188 hits in a season and at least 78 RBI, then go ahead and try to make a deal. But they aren't going to find that person.
Trading Murphy should not be on the Mets' minds at all. They have bigger fish to fry.
What's going to happen at shortstop? Who will be the first baseman in 2014, Davis or Duda? Can the team find a decent veteran relief pitcher before the beginning of the season?
The Mets need Murphy. He provides a level of stability on a team that is still within the process of rebuilding. The 28-year-old is a reliable hitter and, for the most part, a reliable fielder.
What other position player can you say the same for (besides David Wright)?
Besides, Murphy told Anthony DiComo of MLB.com that he want to remain a Met:
I want to be in New York. We've struggled the last couple of years, and I also feel like, hopefully, my best baseball is ahead of me. So when you feel like you've been a little part of the problem, you want to be a part of the solution.
Well, if he wants to help turn around this team, the Mets should let him be a part of it.
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