Sunday, October 12, 2008

What to do with Daniel Murphy?

Oh, Danny Boy. Daniel Murphy was one of the few bright spots for the Mets this past season. The kid plays hard-nosed baseball, shows patience at the plate and proved himself to be a serious student of the game. I think every Mets fan would agree that we are anxious to see what this kid can bring to the table in future years.

Or should we?

Murphy's stock is pretty high right now. Teams have seen what he can do and any rookie that can come into the league and bat over .300 for more than a month has to peak some interest from competing scouts. Do we sell high or wait for the stock to continue to go up?

That's a tough question.

The other side to the equation is that if the Mets keep Murphy where are they going to play him for the long term? He is a natural infielder and has played both third and second base. The Mets obviously have a need for a reliable second baseman so why wouldn't you play him there? But of course the Mets are interested in Orlando Hudson and if you get a veteran like that what do you do with Murphy?

You could continue to play him in left field, but I don't think anyone believes that Murphy will be a career corner outfielder. Also you may have heard of this kid called Fernando Martinez who is just waiting to take his spot in left field every day for the Mets for the next decade.

Some say that Murphy's future is at first base. I don't see it, but I could be talked into it. Do you trade Martinez as a blue chipper for some reliable pitching? Can Murphy get you a couple of young arms? Do you let Murphy platoon with Delgado next season when Murphy isn't playing left field?

There are so many different scenarios, but I think the best one is to let the kid play second base. Orlando Hudson is intriguing, but I have an odd feeling that he's got Luis Castillo potential. Think of an infield with Wright, Reyes and Murphy and you have a young core of players for the next 7 years that can start everyday and have the potential to hit .300 one through three in the batting order.

I think Murphy will turn out to be a poor man's John Olerud or Paul Moliter. I'd like to see the Mets hold onto him, but I was crazy about Carlos Gomez last year and got over that real quick when the name Santana came into play. If Murphy and a few prospects can get you a guy like Peavy or Oswalt, you may have to let him go.

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