When the Astros saw 10 months of their trade talks become public a few days ago, it was certainly an embarrassment for Houston as well as for some of the teams that were discussed. However, for baseball fans, it was a rare and exciting glimpse into the talks that go on between general managers in the days leading up to the trade deadline.
[Mets AGM Paul DePodesta] asked Jeff if we would consider Villar in a Murphy deal.
"Jeff" is Astros GM Jeff Luhnow, and Jonathan Villar is hopefully one of multiple young players that the Mets would get back from trading a piece like Murphy, especially considering how he's performed since DePodesta's inquiry last summer.
However, if the Mets do move their starting second baseman, the Astros are an unlikely partner. Murphy becomes a free agent after the 2015 season, so the Mets would be more likely to find a buyer in a team that is closer to "win now" mode than Houston is.
Contending clubs like the Blue Jays, Cardinals, or even the Yankees that aren't getting much from their second basemen or third basemen could give the Mets quite a haul for Murphy, but according to assistant GM John Ricco, the Mets aren't close to parting with him.
"We haven't specifically talked about Dan recently," Ricco said. "He is one of the more valuable guys we have. He leads the league in hits. He's settled in as one of the best second basemen in the game, certainly offensively, and is a leader on our team."
Murphy's performance this year is looking more like a reason to trade him lately than a reason not to trade him. The Mets are floundering around him, and he won't return as much if the team decides to deal him next year, when he'll be a 30-year-old on an expiring contract.
Maybe the Mets plan on extending Murphy before his contract expires, or maybe they feel that 2015 can be the year that Murphy helps the team compete for a playoff spot. If neither of those things is true, though, he's one of the players who should be considered in a trade before the non-waiver deadline later this month.