Mets extend Daniel Murphy a $15.8 million qualifying offer
Daniel Murphy has spent his entire career in the New York Mets organization. He is the second-longest tenured Met behind only David Wright.
For a time, he was a man without a position but someone always viewed by the team as having a bat that would play loudly at the big league level.
The Mets tried to teach him left field and first base, but both experiments ended in an unkind manner over the years.
Then in 2012, the Mets handed him an infielders glove, assigned early morning and late afternoon practice on the backfields at Tradition Field with Tim Teufel, and he was tasked with learning how to play second base.
Murphy has been the Mets second baseman ever since. There have been good days, there have been bad days, there have been perplexing days, but in the end, Murphy has owned that position for four straight seasons and the Mets survived with him there through their run into the World Series in 2015.
He had a magical run through the postseason, launching seven home runs and single-handedly carrying the Mets offense to two series wins against the Dodgers and Cubs. His performance was one for the ages and will go down in the record books as one of the greatest single postseason performances of all-time.
But now Murphy is eligible for free agency, and the Mets are faced with a decision on whether or not to retain Murphy on what will likely become a multi-year deal for their homegrown second baseman, or allow him to go to the free agent market while the club considers alternatives.
In the meantime, the Mets have provided themselves some level of security in the event Murphy does sign with another team, officially extending him a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer.
If Murphy takes it, then he will sign a one-year contract for 2016 worth $15.8 million, nearly an $8 million raise over his salary from 2015.
If he declines – and no player has ever taken a qualifying offer – he is free to test his services on the free agent market, or sign a different contract with the Mets if the two sides can agree to terms. The latter seems unlikely, however.
If Murphy signs with another club, the Mets will receive a draft pick in the compensation round of the 2016 first-year player draft.
That could prove significant for the Mets.
The Mets cannot make Yoenis Cespedes a qualifying offer since he was acquired in a midseason trade. So essentially, if Cespedes signs elsewhere, the Mets will have nothing to show for the deal they made to acquire him on July 31.
In order to replace Cespedes’ production, the Mets might have to consider signing another player who did receive a qualifying offer. If that happens, the Mets would be relinquishing first-round picks in two consecutive drafts, hardly ideal for an organization which now prides itself on building from within and creating a steady pipeline of talent to the big leagues.
Murphy has one week to decide to take or decline the qualifying offer.