2014 MLB Free Agent Profile: David Murphy

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Could adding a second Murphy help the Mets in 2014?

David Murphy was the first round pick of the Boston Red Sox in 2003, but he struggled in his first professional season and his prospect stock fell as a result. He debuted in 2006 and played in 23 games for the Red Sox before being traded to the Texas Rangers in a deadline deal for Eric Gagne in 2007. As a Ranger he established himself as a regular, playing in about 120 games a year. He owns a career .275/.337/.441 batting line and does not have an unusually pronounced home/road split despite playing his home games at the typically hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

This year was a difficult one for Murphy. He had the worst year of his career, hitting only .220/.282/.374 on the heels of a 2012 season in which he hit .304/.380/.479. Murphy has experience with all three outfield positions, but he has mostly played left field. He has a very significant platoon split, with a career .280/.347/.469 line against right-handed pitchers and a .259/.306/.350 line against southpaws. He’s been rated as a very good defensive outfielder the past two years, with a +7.8 and +11.0 UZR in 2012 and 2013 respectively. It seems likely that his struggles in 2013 were the result of a career low batting average on balls in play of .227, as his career BABIP is .302.

The Cost

Fangraphs has projected Murphy to receive a two-year, $12.7 million contract. This seems like a reasonable deal for someone who can provide above average offense and good defense while perhaps being supported by a right-handed platoon partner.

The Fit

Both corner outfield spots for the 2014 Mets appear to be open and Murphy would seem to be a good fit, as his poor 2013 could help the Mets sign him to a reasonable contract. The Mets would likely consider platooning him with a right-handed hitter who, with Murphy, could provide very good production at a modest cost. Murphy has the potential to be a very good bounce-back candidate given his low 2013 BABIP and history of solid production before last season.

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