Daniel MurphyIn a season in which hopeful optimism was crushed with injuries to David Wright, and more regrettably Matt Harvey(not to mention the injuries to Jeremy Hefner, Jenrry Mejia and Bobby Parnell), the one player who has stood tall amidst all this turbulence has been Daniel Murphy.

While Murphy has his flaws, his durability (think about saying that two years ago!), dependability and flexibility (he sure does have a lot of –lity’s BTW), have been the one constant for the Mets this year. For the year, Murphy is sporting a solid .283/.314/.407 slash line (prior to Friday night’s game) to go with 10 HR’s and 67 RBI’s.

Murphy is now riding a 10-game hitting streak and is basically the only Met batter left standing since Opening Day (not counting Lucas Duda, who was hurt, sent down to Las Vegas and is now back with the club). When you break it down, every other member of the lineup either got hurt, was not producing and had to be demoted at some point, or traded.

Murphy is far and away the team leader in games played (138) and at-bats with 567 (prior to Friday night’s game). The recently traded-away Marlon Byrd comes in second in games played (117) and at-bats for the Mets with 425. David Wright is third with 408 at-bats.

In a season marred by false hopes, critical injuries and one that will ultimately end with another losing season, at least Murphy has been a beacon of hope.

Sure, as Brian Joura succinctly points out here, Murphy is simply not walking enough anymore and is not really taking selective swings at the plate, but he still is the one constant the Mets can rely on day in and day out.

The kicker is, for all his reliability and dependability, Murphy may be looking at his last month with the Mets. You see, he is rapidly becoming a valuable trade asset and some team this winter may offer a nice package to the Mets. Since the Mets need help at a lot of positions (OF, SS and perhaps 1B), dealing from an area of strength makes a lot of sense.

If the Mets move Murphy, they could conceivably put either Wilmer Flores or Eric Young Jr. at second. Since second base is a position of strength for the Mets, it may be best to sell on Murphy while his value is at his highest.

I’ll say it. I’m an unabashed fan of Murphy and love his approach and love for the game. Hey, maybe it’s the Irish genes in me. Hey, after all I do own a green Irish-style Murphy shirt. It’s not just me though, as Murphy does have his fair share of fans.

However, if the Mets want to do what’s best for the team, either Murphy or Flores have to be traded in the offseason. Both likely can’t fit in with the same club, especially with Wright expected to man the hot corner until he retires. It’s a conundrum in much the same way as having Ike Davis and Lucas Duda on the roster. Sooner or later you have to choose the one who will get you the most value back on the trade market.

So, I salute you Daniel Murphy, you are a joy to watch and if this is your last month, well it’s been a pleasure having you suit up for the Mets.

10 comments on “Daniel Murphy: The one constant for the Mets in 2013

  • Peter Hyatt

    Murph has his intangibles; something computer stats do not measure. He brings enthusiasm and identity to a team. I hope we keep him and possibly use Wilmer Flores as trade bait, instead. Murph’s best years are ahead of him and he has steadily grown and should continue for the next four to five years. He helps with Met identity.

  • peter

    As crazy as this sounds, David Wright moving over to play first base solves a lot of problems.

    • TexasGusCC

      peter, you realize you want to move a gold glove third baseman, right? Exactly how has Flores shown to you that he can do better, or be just as good?

    • Brian Joura

      I think it creates more problems than it solves.

      We all want Flores to be an impact-type bat but once you remove the air from his stats at Las Vegas, his 2013 numbers are nothing to write home about. And while I understand he’s not 100% healthy right now – who is? – his MLB numbers are ugly. I like what I’ve seen of Flores at 3B, as it seems he catches whatever he gets to and he has a strong arm. But I’m so not sold on his hitting now and moving someone with the sole intention of creating a spot for Flores seems a bit crazy.

      And if it did make sense to move Wright — why not the OF? Duda’s finally getting a chance to play his natural position and you want to yank that away from him again? Meanwhile, there’s likely two OF spots to fill.

  • peter

    Believe me I know. Davis/Duda is not worth the time or effort to figure out. Just trying to see if there is a better option for first base within the organization. Since there are no quality free agents in 2014 who can play first. Just curious to see how the Mets are going to solve this issue with no viable candidates out there.

  • steevy

    I must say,neither Flores nor d’Arnaud have impressed me.Not giving up on them,especially d’Arnaud,who missed most of the year.

    • kjs

      Yup. I hope i eat crow, but d’Arnaud really looks overhyped and overmatched.

  • Metsense

    Those are my feelings also Dan and Peter Hyatt is 100% correct about his intangibles but he is the only trade value the Mets can offer. There is even more depth at second base if you include Turner and Satin. I would love to keep Murphy but it may be necessary to include him for an outfielder or shortstop.

  • Zozo

    Trade Murphy and Davis, and sign Abreau ( the kid from Cuba). Keep Duda til Abreau gets acclimated to MLB pitching. The cost of Abreau will probably be the same amount u were going to pay Murphy and Davis combined after arbitration anyways!!

    • NormE

      Zozo, the problem I have with your suggestion is that probably none of us have seen Abreu play. Scouting reports indicate that he is more of a DH than a 1Ber. Do you really want the Mets to through lots of money (as if they would do such a thing) at such a questionnable commodity?

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