Mark Melton on Daniel Murphy Defense -
Over the past 3 seasons, Murphy is 10th overall in fWAR with 7.5 among all MLB 2B. He has more fWAR than Brandon Phillips and Aaron Hill over that same span. In 2013 Aaron Hill signed a deal that was worth $35 million over 3 years. Brandon Phillips signed a six year deal worth $72.5 million in 2012. Heck, Dan Uggla got $50 million over 4 years. Why does it seem crazy to sign Murphy to a 3 or 4 year deal worth approximately $12 million per season? Is it because of his perceived lack of defense? If you’ve watched the Mets since Murphy became the everyday 2B, you can see an obvious improvement. During his first full season at 2B in 2012, his UZR was a disastrous -10.2. In 2013 and 2014, it’s nowhere near that, with a -4.9 UZR in 2013 and a -5.3 UZR this year. Yes, absolutely he is a negative fielder at 2B, but not all time bad. He’s about as bad as Aaron Hill, who has a UZR of -9.3 over the last 2 seasons, and Murphy has played about 700 more IP than Hill. His defense isn’t say, Mark Reynolds at 3B bad, or Adam Dunn anywhere bad, but it’s definitely below average. It’s nice to see that he took it seriously and did make a huge improvement from 2012 to 2013. http://mets360.com/?p=23042
Mack – This story goes on to say that the author feels that Murphy should be traded and the future at the Mets second base position is Dilson Herrera. I still shake my head when I think that we are talking about trading one of the pure hitters in the league on a team that is starving for hitter. What do we get back for him? A better hitter than ‘one of the true hitters’?
I got my wish. Terry Collins said that P Rafael Montero has been added to the Mets bullpen. Yes, he will get one more start before the end of the season; however, he has officially joined the Mets pen in the future.
This is big news. First, it’s the first step to spread out the excess rotation pitchers that are ready for the majors. This is far from the first time this has happened. Bobby Parnell was originally a Mets starter. So was Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia. I just wrote four pretty decent names in a bullpen that needs one more righty and two lefties to be completed.
My guess is Vic Black and Josh Edgin has two of those slots. Also, the word is that Parnell won’t be ready come opening day, so there may be room for at least one more name.
The bottom line is you don’t have to trade your top pitchers. Your excess rotation pitchers can be converted to your pen and your staff just becomes more talented.
Does this score more runs? No, but it doesn’t give up any more either.
Biggest Step Forward: Steven Matz, LHP: The stuff was never a question for Matz, who has had success at every stop as a professional. But with Tommy John surgery in his past and knee surgery this past off-season, it was important for Matz to pitch an entire year and show that he is healthy, both of which he accomplished this season. More that that, though, he also refined his mechanics, answered any questions about possibly having to move to the bullpen, had success in Double-A, and established himself as the top left-handed pitching prospect in the Mets system. Matz is now a guy the Mets can count on moving forward as they make long-term plans http://www.mlbprospectwatch.com/mlb_prospect_watch/2014/09/organization-recap-new-york-mets.html
We continue our search for a trade partner in the NL Central, this time with a look at the Cincinnati Reds.
According to Cot[i], the Reds 2014 salaries are $114,170,439.
Strangely, not one player is scheduled to leave via free agency.
Outfield wise, the contracts belong to RF Jay Bruce ($12.042/2015, $12.542/2016 – 16-HR, 60-RBI), LF Ryan Ludwick ($4.5mil/2015 - .249), and 4th utility outfielder Skip Schumaker (246-AB, .238, $2.5mil/2015). Centerfield is now held down by ex-prospect, pre-arbitration speedster, Billy Hamilton (518-AB, .264, 55-SB).
There really is only one shortstop on this team, Zack Cozart ($600K/pre-ARB, 454-AB, .225).
The Reds do have some interesting talent coming down the pipeline (OF Jesse Winker, OF Phil Ervin, SS Alex Blandino), but all are at least one to two years away.
Mack Observation – The trading of closer Jonathan Broxton to Milwaukee could mean that the Reds will be in the market for someone the Mets could help them with. Let’s face it, once Bobby Parnell returns, he, Vic Black, Jeurys Famila, and Jenrry Mejia will give the Mets four viable candidates for the closer role in Queens. Would one of these be good enough to pry away a Ludwick in a trade, or is Ludwick considered less talented than the pitchers we would have to offer in a deal like that?
Me? I’d drop a level and offer Black for Winker (20/yrs old - 2014: A+, .317/.431/.580/1.011, 13-HR, 49-RBI). They did bump him two levels to AA where he tailed off (77-AB, .208), but this is a pure hitter (15-HR/57-RBI combined A+/AA as a 20-year old this season… 16-HR, 76-RBI last year in A-ball as a 19-year old. 6-3 lefty who plays primarily left field… only 2 errors all season.