Despite a $15.8-million security blanked in the form of a qualifying offer, second baseman Daniel Murphy is not expected to re-sign with the Mets. He has until Friday to make his decision.
Speaking to reporters at the GM meetings in Florida, Mets assistant John Ricco said.: “In making the qualifying offer, you always have to anticipate he’s going to accept. Otherwise, I don’t think we would have done it. It’s very early in the signing season. I’m sure what he and his representatives are trying to do right now is trying to get a gauge.
“It’s hard for me to speculate whether the market is going to be there. We made the offer with the idea that we’d like to have him back. We’ll see how it plays out.”
The reported current market for Murphy includes both Los Angeles teams, Houston, and of course the Yankees.
As Ricco said it is early in the process and nobody wants to tip their hand. That explains why Yankees GM Brian Cashman downplays interest in Murphy.
“We have to offensive-profile players already at that position,” Cashman said. “So, I think if we did any changing there it would be seeing more balance on both sides of the ball.”
The Yankees’ current second base candidates are Rob refsnyder and Dustin Ackley. They are projected to be offensive-oriented players, although neither is in Murphy’s class.
Murphy-to-the-Yankees makes sense, because in that bandbox of a stadium he could hit at least 25 homers. He could also get some designated-hitter at-bats, but most of them would go to Alex Rodriguez. And, as he would with the Mets, Murphy could also back up at first and third base.
Cashman has to feign interest because he knows every agent will parade his client through the Bronx to prime the bidding pump.