With free agents now able to negotiate with all 30 Major League teams, second baseman Daniel Murphy is reportedly drawing interest from the Colorado Rockies, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Sources: The #Rockies have discussed internally the possibility of signing free agent Daniel Murphy to play first base.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 7, 2015
Murphy, 30, is entering free agency for the first time in his professional career. The longtime New York Met is expected to get a considerable raise on his $8 million salary thanks to his historical heroics in the 2015 postseason. While he was not nearly as productive in the World Series compared to the first two rounds, his performance still put him in elite company.
The Inquisitr has previously reported that the Mets are not expected to re-sign Murphy. Despite the aforementioned postseason dramatics, the Mets do not intend on paying Murphy the high salary he’ll command on the open market — which MLB Trade Rumors predicts will be in the four-year, $56 million range. Additionally, the team wants to go with some of its younger options at second base, primarily Dilson Herrera.
If the Mets hold firm on their stance and Murphy signs elsewhere, the team did insure that they will not walk away empty-handed. Per MLB.com, the Mets extended a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer to Murphy on Friday. If he accepts, the Mets will have Murphy back for one more season for a reasonable salary. But if he rejects the Mets’ offer, the team will get a compensatory pick if he signs with a different team.
The eight-year veteran talked to ESPN New York after the World Series, giving Mets fans hope he could return.
“I like it here. I’d like to come back. We’ll have to see. I don’t think there are going to be 30 teams offering me a deal. So we’ll have to see. That will probably dwindle it down.”
As the MLB.com report noted, under the MLB’s new system, there has yet to be one player to accept a qualifying offer.
Primarily a second baseman throughout his career, Murphy also has experience at first base, third base, and left field. But as Rosenthal’s tweet mentioned, the Rockies are specifically interested in signing Murphy to play first base. With the team declining its option on veteran Justin Morneau, the team is now in search of help at the position.
Generally regarded as an average defender, first base has been rated as Murphy’s strongest position, according to FanGraphs. For his career, Murphy’s UZR/150 is 5.8, meaning that he saves nearly six more runs on defense than the average defender at first base. But it should be mentioned that Murphy’s last extended look at first base was in 2010.
A move to Colorado could prove to be a boost to Murphy’s power capabilities. Coors Field in Colorado is notorious for being a hitter-friendly park thanks to its altitude, which helps hitters’ home run totals. During the 2015 regular season, Murphy hit .281 with a career-high 14 HR in 131 games, but playing in Colorado can help those home run totals, which Murphy proved were improving from the second half of 2015 through the playoffs.
Also, Murphy could end up being one of the cheaper free agent options at first base this offseason. Chris Davis, who is arguably the most feared home run hitter in baseball figures to get a contract over $100 million, something the Rockies will likely want to avoid.
The left-handed swinging Murphy has one week to accept or deny the qualifying offer, at which point his future should become clearer.
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