Mets trade rumors: Daniel Murphy coveted by Blue Jays, Giants

Jim McIsaac

The second baseman's stellar season is drawing the attention of some contending clubs.

Andy Martino wrote in the New York Daily News the other day that the Mets have suitors for Daniel Murphy if they want to trade the second baseman, who has one year left of arbitration eligibility before he becomes a free agent in November 2015. Among those teams interested are the Giants, who have "done homework" on Murphy, and the Blue Jays, who reportedly had a scout in Miami to watch him.

According to Martino, the Mets don't consider themselves a seller yet in regards to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, and they might not be buying either.

It seems more likely that the team will remain inactive before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline - but still, there are reasons to suspect they will consider moving their second baseman. Remember that the front office was eager to trade Murphy as recently as last December, when it actively shopped him at the winter meetings.

Of course, whether the team is buying or selling in late July depends on how the team is doing then, not now. There's still plenty of baseball to be played that will factor in how the Mets plan for the trading bonanza.

Further complicating the matter is that Murphy's stock has taken off since December. The 29-year-old second baseman is having his best season since an injury-shortened 2011 and has arguably been the Mets' most consistent offensive player. A career-best walk rate has pushed his on-base percentage above the .350 mark, and he's on pace for over 10 home runs and over 20 steals for the second straight year.

If GM Sandy Alderson plans on keeping Murphy beyond 2015, he'll probably have to extend him before he enters the final year of his contract, but such a deal would mean the Mets holding onto their second baseman well into his 30s. If the team struggles between now and July 31, it might make more sense to cut bait while acquiring younger bats and allowing Wilmer Flores to play the keystone every day.

According to Martino, though, Flores's subpar performance in 182 plate appearances as a 22-year-old show he's "probably not a strong enough offensive player to be a long-term solution."

If the Mets don't move Murphy this summer, it will be because they think he's too valuable to their club, not because they've given up on Flores.

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