So, Daniel Murphy told ESPN he’s not concerned that the Mets haven’t signed a major league free agent, and like David Wright, is satisfied with the club’s direction.
Well, what else did you expect him to say?
Murphy, the man without a position stuck at second base, isn’t in position to rock the boat. The arbitration-eligible Murphy banged the drum for Scott Hairston and Chris Young, both of whom would fill needs but not necessarily raise the Mets to the next level.
Murphy sounded like a Sandy Alderson groupie when he said “we don’t want to get quite get sucked into maybe some of the prices that are going on right now for outfield.’’
In other words, forget about re-signing Hairston, who is asking for $8 million over two years. The Mets aren’t enamored by either the years or dollars. Put it this way, Hairston is asking for $4 million in 2013. In comparison, the anticipated outfield as of now in Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Mike Baxter might not make $2 million combined.
Murphy spoke positively about prospect Travis d’Arnaud – acquired in the R.A. Dickey deal – outfielder Collin Cowgill and the return of Dillon Gee. Truth is, Murphy doesn’t know how these players will do; nobody does. Murphy is being optimistic, as you’d expect a teammate to be.
Murphy said he’s going into spring training without the pressure of having to win a job or learn a new position. He’s a .292 career hitter, but with limited power. He only hit six homers with 65 RBI last year, numbers that must improve.
Actually, the most realistic assessment of the Mets’ front office came from Dickey, when he said he liked the direction his new team – Toronto – is heading.
The only Met with enough teeth to make an assessment of things is Wright, but he just signed a lucrative extension in exchange for his thumbs up.
The Mets’ plan for 2013 is for everybody to stay healthy and improve from within. If enough good things can happen, perhaps they can play competitive ball deep into the summer and possibly tease .500.
But, to do that, they’ll have to improve by 14 games, which is a stretch with a roster that stayed the same outside of losing a 20-game winner.
A significant portion of the Mets’ improvement could come with bigger years from Murphy, Ike Davis and reliever Bobby Parnell, all of whom have filed for arbitration.