With less than a week to go before the MLB non-waiver trade deadline, all has been quiet with the New York Mets. Rumors indicate that if the Mets do trade a player, it’ll be pitcher Bartolo Colon. However, the Mets should hang on to Colon, and instead should try harder to trade second baseman Daniel Murphy.
There are a lot of reasons why the Mets could trade Murphy, but the most important may be the fact that unless they increase their payroll to over $100 million next season, they won’t be able to afford the kind of money Murphy will make in arbitration next season, nor will they be able to afford the kind of money Murphy would make if they tried to sign him to a long-term deal.
This makes right now the ideal time to trade him, as he would make a great addition for a playoff-bound team that is looking for an upgrade at second base.
In addition to the Mets’ financial situation, they have a fast-rising second base prospect in Dilson Herrera, who’s hitting .345/.408/.554 during his first month in double-A, despite being the youngest player in the Eastern League. Herrera’s emergence could put him on pace to make his big league debut early in 2015, when he would be a younger and cheaper alternative to Murphy who’s more athletic and a more natural middle infielder.
Moreover, the Mets have plenty of stopgaps that can act as the bridge from Murphy to Herrera, including Wilmer Flores, Danny Muno and Matt Reynolds.
After making the All-Star team for the first time in his career, Murphy’s value is as high as it’s ever been and now is the time to sell. With or without him, the Mets have slim odds of reaching the postseason in 2014, so the best move they can make is to trade him to further improve an already strong farm system.
This would also give them a chance to play Flores at second base on an everyday basis for the rest of the season, giving him a chance to come alive offensively while potentially taking a look at Muno or Reynolds in September.
Sandy Alderson has been great at selling high on players in the past, and he can do that again with Murphy. The Mets have no shortage of replacements at second base, which will make it easy to trade him while saving money and getting more pieces for the future. The right trade involving Murphy is out there, Alderson and the Mets just have to find it and be willing to pull the trigger.
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