Murphy, who is a career .287 hitter over 3,500 plate appearances, will be a free agent at the end of this season.
Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com
In a post to his blog, Mets Police, Shannon Shark points out it's possible Mets fans could be watching the final days of Murphy in a Mets uniform since the organization has reportedly made several attempts to trade him during the last few seasons.
"I’m sad that the Mets will be too cheap to bring you back, Murph," writes Shannon, who coined the hashtag #ImWith28. "Hopefully you wind up somewhere cool like Boston or San Francisco, and not in exile in Cleveland or something. So one last tip of the cap before we all get distracted by stupid interleague play and then a playoff run."
I'm not 100 percent certain the Mets will let Murphy leave as a free agent; I'd say it's 50-50. Sandy Alderson knows Murphy is popular with a large group of Mets fans. He has also played an important role in this team's success this season, and he's done everything asked him over the last few seasons. All the while, he's consistently hit the baseball well in a ballpark that people typically struggle. He also plays two positions where the Mets are going to need support during the next few seasons.
I believe in Dilson Herrera, but he has yet to show any indication that he can be trusted with being the everyday second baseman. This is not to say he can't ever do it, but it may take another year or two before he's the All-Star infielder experts expect him to be. So, who plays second base until then? Wilmer Flores? Maybe? But, at the same time, who plays third base when David Wright is given a rest, something that will happen more frequently than usual next season, which will be his first full year managing his spinal stenosis.
The point is the Mets have always viewed Murphy more as a 'super-utility guy,' like Mark DeRosa was during his career, as I have pointed out a million times on this blog. Finally, Murphy is in that role and his doing well. The need for this type of player is not going to change. And, given the way Alderson builds his roster, relying on several platoons at once, Murphy will continue to be needed.
In the end, it comes down to value. He will be 31 years old at the start of next season. He's never played for anyone but the Mets. He's also never hit more than 13 home runs in a season and his OPS has leveled off around .735 the last four seasons. He is what he is, which is a guy that will put the ball in play, hit some doubles, hustle, be a cheerleader and play three infield positions just well enough to justify his hitting, but poorly enough that it will hurt from time to time. My hunch is Murphy can command a two- or three-year deal at around $10-12 million per season, depending on how desperate a team may be for a third or second baseman. In the event Murphy leaves the Mets, who will Alderson trust to back up Wright, plus be flexible enough to play first base, second base and hit off the bench? Can said player handle New York City pressure, a pennant race and hitting in Citi Field, and also love being in Queens? I don't know that there is a more-perfect player to fill that role than Murphy, which is why I think there's a chance he returns...