In 2015, the Mets should use their All-Star 2B Daniel Murphy as “a super-utility man,” writes columnist Joel Sherman (NY Post, Sept. 3).
“In the best-case scenario, Lucas Duda is not a one-year wonder, Wilmer Flores and/or Dilson Herrera can produce at second, David Wright has a bounce-back season and the Mets find an impact left fielder,” writes Sherman. “Even in that scenario, there would be 70 to 90 starts for Murphy at first, second, third, left field and DH plus pinch hits, double-switches, etc.”
In Sherman’s view, these 90 starts and 300 at bats would be a good return for the roughly $8-9 million Murphy will earn next season, after which he can be a free agent.
Matthew Cerrone: If I had a dime for every time I’ve written about Murphy eventually being a super-utility guy, I could retire. Sherman uses Ben Zobrist as a comparison. I always preferred Mark De Rosa, mentioned again as recently as last June. Murphy is in a tough spot, as are the Mets. He’s essentially a singles and doubles hitter with an average glove who is going to be a free agent after next season, which is why he has so little value on the trade market. At the same time, he’s an All-Star second baseman, leading the team in hits, which is why he’s so valuable to the Mets. He’s also a fan favorite and a clubhouse champion. And then along comes Hererra…
The kid is 20. The league will eventually begin to pitch Hererra in a way that will force him to struggle. It’s inevitable. The question is: Will he adjust? I think he will. He appears sound enough, and people say he’s smart enough, that he’ll be able snap back. But, again, he’s 20 and a lot can happen before he’s an established, every-day player, capable of withstanding the adjustments of big-league pitchers, coaches and scouting reports.
I like Murphy as the super-utility role, but I just can’t see how the Mets are ready to make that happen next season. To me, this is his fate if he stays here beyond next season. Otherwise, I think he ends up being De Rosa (or Zobrist) for a different team. In the meantime, next season, when Hererra will be 21, and with only 100 at bats under his belt, I find it hard to believe the Mets will trade Murphy’s 200 hits for a B-level pitcher, a Mark De Rosa-type and the potential of an infield prospect.
By the way, if Murphy does become a super-utility man, he should demand a blue and orange cape…