On Christmas Eve, Daniel Murphy reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with the Washington Nationals for $37.5M. After carrying the Mets through the Division Series and the LDS last year, and being a second baseman, he was a natural fit for the Yankees’ rumor mill. Personally, I am glad they passed on him and that he is with the Nationals. I think he would have been another disappointment for the Yankees.
Murphy is a 30-year old infielder who came up through the Mets system and once showed a lot of promise. After seven years in the majors, his batting average seems to settle in around the high .280’s and a slugging in the mid .700’s. That is not bad for a second baseman, and comparable to Starlin Castro’s numbers. The difference is that the Yankees got Castro for about $9M less over the same period, an additional year in 2019 at less than Murphy’s average annual salary, and a team option for 2020.
The fervor over his success in the playoffs dominated his storyline, and probably contributed to the size of his contract more than anything else. You cannot really blame people for that. With a slash line of .421/.436/1.026 through the first two rounds of the playoffs, seven home runs in 39 plate appearances, and the NLCS MVP, baseball executives had to be a little star struck. You have to respect Brian Cashman for not jumping on that bandwagon.
So Daniel Murphy is no longer a member of the Mets. He has found a gig where he will probably be the starting second baseman for a likely playoff contender. If the Nationals reverse their fortunes from 2015 and get to the playoffs, it will be interesting to see if Murphy can repeat his 2015 performance. Either way, I am happy for him. Especially since it will not be in Yankees pinstripes.
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
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