If the New York Mets choose to be sellers at the trade deadline, and it certainly looks that way, one of their biggest trade chips will be second baseman Daniel Murphy.
While it may be best to sign Murphy to an extension, one of the reasons why the Mets may be able to trade Murphy is that they have internal options that can fill the void at second base, including Dilson Herrera, who’s quickly becoming one of the team’s top prospects and could entice the Mets to trade Murphy.
Herrera was acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates last August, coming over just in time to win a South Atlantic League championship with the Mets’ affiliate in Savannah last season. Since joining the organization, Herrera has shown dramatic improvement. He made the move to advanced-A at the start of this year and had a great first half, putting up a slash line of .307/.355/.410.
That earned him a midseason promotion to double-A, where his numbers have improved to .329/.410/.479 as the youngest player in the Eastern League.
Not only has Herrera emerged as a player who could one day be the Mets’ everyday second baseman, but he could reach the big leagues relatively soon, possibly next season. He’s a great athlete with good raw tools and bat speed, and if he continues to develop at the rate he has over the past year, there’s no telling how good of a player he can become.
The Mets would certainly suffer in the short term if they were to trade Murphy, but watching Herrera’s progress over the past year could make it easier to do so. To fill the gap in case of a trade, the Mets have internal options like Wilmer Flores, Matt Reynolds and Danny Muno.
Just like any other prospect, Herrera is far from a sure thing to become an average big league player, much less the caliber of player who can replace someone like Murphy, who has been one of the Mets’ best hitters this season. But if the Mets are sellers at the deadline, Murphy is one of their best trade chips, and knowing that they have a prospect like Herrera and a few other options to replace him could make it a little easier to pull the trigger if the right offer comes along.
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