As the New York Mets scour over a countless number of possible moves they could make this offseason, one move that they will give strong consideration to is moving Eric Young to second base full time. Considering the season Daniel Murphy had for the Mets in 2013, starting nearly every game at second base, it might sound like an odd move, but it does have the potential to work out for the Mets.
Young is one of the Mets’ arbitration eligible players this offseason, but unless they find a leadoff hitter somewhere else, the Mets would be foolish not to retain him for next season. If Young is back next year, the Mets will have to make him an every day player, as they have little speed without him, and Young is more productive when he plays regularly than when he comes off the bench.
Moving Young to second base would mean putting him at his natural defensive position where he would be at least an average defensive player. Although, Murphy has made great progress at that position defensively and is adequate there as well. Despite Young’s speed and ability to cover a lot of ground, he is not a great defensive outfielder, so moving him would not harm the Mets’ outfield defense, while ensuring his bat and speed stay in the lineup.
With Young at second base, the Mets could choose to either trade Murphy, or move him to first base, where he’s played in the past and where the Mets have a lot of problems involving Ike Davis and Lucas Duda. Murphy can handle first base defensively. While he may not have the power of an average first baseman, the Mets could make up for that power with an outfielder in the spot vacated by Young. On the other hand, Murphy had a great offensive season in 2013 and his value could be at its peak, which means it could be the best time to trade him.
Young moving to second base would give the Mets another outfield spot to fill, which could prove difficult. The Mets should be able to rely on some combination of Juan Lagares and Matt den Dekker to handle center field, but right field is vacant, and so is left field if Young were to move to the infield full time. If the Mets are uncertain about being able to acquire two full-time outfielders this offseason, they could be hesitant about moving Young.
In the end, this could all come down to what the Mets can get in exchange for Murphy in a trade. Considering the way Young changed the Mets’ lineup with his speed, it’s hard to imagine him not being with the Mets next season, and if they can move him to a more comfortable defensive position, that would be an added benefit. But it all hinges on if the Mets are comfortable trading away Murphy and get a fair offer for him, because Young being moved to second base is an intriguing proposition that could work out very well for the Mets.