(Chris Soto: Murphy was always unlikely to accept the Qualifying Offer. He has always expressed himself as a family man, especially when unfairly took fan abuse for skipping games to be at his child's birth. As a family man he was likely to test the open market in hopes of obtaining long term stability for himself, his wife, and his children. We wish Daniel Murphy as the best as he truly was a an exemplary Met during his career. He will be sorely missed but this is indeed the right move for both sides.)
Mike Axisa | CBS Sports- As we saw in the postseason, no team boasts as much impressive young pitching as the Mets. One young pitcher we did not see in October is right-hander Zack Wheeler, who missed the 2015 season while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. The club remains open to discussing Wheeler in trades, "We're not actively shopping Zack by any stretch," Ricco told Newsday. "But as with the other starters, if something came up that we thought made us better, we're going to talk about it."
(Chris Soto: The nixed deal between the Brewers and Mets for Carlos Gomez both resulted in the Mets acquiring OF Yeonis Cespedes, as well as, establishing a trade base for the injured Wheeler. Despite still recovering from Tommy John, to be able to acquire Gomez with Wheeler as the centerpiece shows that Wheeler still has immense value in trade talks. The Mets will likely need to be blown away with a similar offer in order to trade but I would bet good money that we will likely see something go down this winter.)
Michael Baron | Just Mets- Last week, Mets assistant GM John Ricco said the club had no intention to replace Juan Lagares in centerfield, and would instead like to find a left-handed complement to Lagares to form a potential platoon. One player the Mets are exploring is Red Sox OF Jackie Bradley Jr. He’s a left-handed hitter and an outstanding outfielder, capable of playing in all three spots. He has spent most of his big league time in center field, and as was the case with Lagares in 2014, Bradley was tremendous in center.
(Chris Soto: I can certainly see the fit...Bradley is a superb defensive CF and his left hander while Lagares is a superb defender and is a righty. Only problem with the logic is that Bradley hit almost 80 points better against lefties than he did righties this past season. The reverse split is consistent with his career thus far. In addition, the Red Sox do not view Bradley as a platoon CF, they feel he can be a superb defender with an above average bat as evidenced by his .832 OPS this season. A mark that is almost 200 basis points HIGHER than Lagares' 2015 OPS. The asking price for Bradley is going to be quite high. )
HOT STOVE REPORT (courtesy of mlbtraderumor.com)
- According to Ken Davidoff of the NY Post, the Mets are one of the teams in the running to sign Ben Zobrist this offseason. The club views Zobrist as a candidate to replace Murphy at 2B while also providing depth in the corner OF spot.
- The Mets have signed minor league IF Ty Kelly to a minor league contract with an invite to big league camp. During 2015, Kelly hit .226 with a .619 OPS in AAA while playing 2B, 3B, and all 3 OF spots.
- Having traded SS Andrelton Simmons, the Braves now are looking to trade star 1B Freddie Freeman as they continue to shed payroll off the books. Freeman is scheduled to be paid $12M this season followed by $20M starting in 2017 through 2021.
(Chris Soto: Boy....the Braves are just cleaning house huh. I would love to have Freddie Freeman on the team, however, just like with Simmons, the Braves are very unlikely to trade him in house to a division opponent. On top of that, Freeman is going to be making a ton of money starting next season for a long time. Even in a improved financial state I'm not quite sure the Mets would be able to handle such a large percentage of the team payroll being tied up to both Wright and Freeman.)