Mets not expected to make Daniel Murphy a qualifying offer this winter
Daniel Murphy has been nothing short of a miracle for the Mets during the playoffs so far this month, which is just in time for him as he will soon become an unrestricted free agent.
He has hit three home runs – two of which were against Clayton Kershaw and the other being against Zack Greinke – and single-handedly created another run with a crafty steal of third base in the fourth inning of game five of the Division Series.
He set a career-high with 14 home runs, and showed serviceable versatility by playing at three different positions around the infield for extended periods of time throughout the 2015 season.
That may not be good enough for the Mets, however.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says the Mets are not expected to extend Murphy a qualifying offer of $15.8 million this winter, meaning if he signs elsewhere, the Mets will not be able to receive compensation for him in the 2016 first-year player draft.
Making a qualifying offer to Murphy can be risky. He seems likely to command a deal in the $10 million a year range over three or four years, and knowing what his market value might be could result in him taking that offer, which could be perceived as an overpayment for what the industry views as a utility player.
In addition to not making a qualifying offer, while not totally unexpected, Heyman says the Mets appear inclined to let Murphy go via free agency this winter, instead turning to the likes of Wilmer Flores, Matt Reynolds and Dilson Herrera to fill the void he leaves behind.
In regards to Herrera specifically, people within the organization love his talent, and he has been widely viewed as the future of the position since he was acquired two years ago from the Pirates for John Buck and Marlon Byrd. In that time, there’s been no talk of Murphy as the future of the position as well.
So the writing is on the wall for Murphy to simply walk at the end of this year, postseason heroics not withstanding.
At the same time, he has clearly shown an intangible value during the course of the 2015 season, and in the postseason in particular.
Yes, his play can often times be aggravating and mysterious, but he’s proving to be someone who can handle the pressure cooker of the postseason and in New York at that, as well as a guy who has a knack for not only clutch hitting, but truly big hits in big moments late in games.
Is that enough for the Mets to be swayed to re-sign a guy who has spent his entire professional life in this organization, doing everything they’ve asked him to do with no shame and no regret?
There’s no evidence of that at all. There hasn’t been before (he’s said himself the club has not shown interest in a long-term commitment) and there doesn’t seem to be any right now.