For those teams working with a bankroll that didn’t match that of Scrooge McDuck’s, the Winter Meetings were a time to poke and prod in an effort to see what holes could be filled at an obtainable cost. The New York Mets managed to address their bullpen and centerfield situations via free agency and trade, while the Los Angeles Dodgers were left wanting. After seeing infielder Jamey Carroll sign a multi-year deal with the Minnesota Twins, L.A. was apparently in the market for a versatile position player that could give manager Don Mattingly some line-up flexibility.
Enter 26-year-old Daniel Murphy, who hit .320 for the Mets last season while playing third base, second base, and first.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the Dodgers had their sites set on acquiring the 26-year-old, but things changed when the Mets got transaction happy on Tuesday night:
Daniel Murphy of the Mets is the player the Dodgers tried to trade for at the Winter Meetings, according to a baseball source, and they might make another run at him.
Murphy was the unnamed player general manager Ned Colletti referred to when he said he might be able to upgrade the roster at the Winter Meetings, adding yet another multi-position player after earlier signing Jerry Hairston Jr. and Adam Kennedy.
But Colletti said the trade he thought might happen instead unraveled when the other club satisfied its need elsewhere without trading the player he wanted. That apparently was a reference to the Mets’ acquisition of Giants outfielder Andres Torres. It’s not clear who the Dodgers would have sent to the Mets, although Tony Gwynn Jr. is also an outfield defensive specialist.”
This all makes a lot of sense except I find it hard to believe the Mets would have ever considered a deal for Murphy in which Gwynn Jr. was the centerpiece. Instead, perhaps one of the Dodgers young relievers were to New York’s liking and once the team acquired Jon Rauch, Frank Francisco, and Ramon Ramirez there was no longer a match. With D-Murph now scheduled to be New York’s starting second basemen to begin the season, I think any team looking at making an offer would need to really come with something very strong for the Mets to consider.
I understand the Mets listening to offers for just about everyone but after seeing Murphy excel last year at the plate I’d really like to see him get a chance to work at just one position for an extended period of time and get a chance to show whether or not his glove can ever catch up with his bat. With Jose Reyes gone and Ruben Tejada moving to short, it seems like that plan will finally unfold this Spring and into the season, according to Terry Collins:
I talked Dan the other day on the phone. We talked about him coming down to Florida early to get ready. And he asked, ‘Where do you think I’m going to be?’ And I really didn’t have an answer for him.
“Now, I do. … With his work ethic, and the fact that when we play those exhibition games, Dan Murphy is going to go play second base. He’s going to play a lot of second base, because the only way he’s going to get better is to be out there. Even though they are exhibition games, I want him out there getting used to being in the middle of the infield.”
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