Whether or not to hold onto Daniel Murphy is one of the more complicated decisions facing the Mets' front office this summer. On one hand, trading away the 29-year-old second baseman during the prime of his career could strengthen an already strong Mets farm system. It would also open up a space in the infield for Wilmer Flores to finally show what he can do in a full-time role. Even if Flores flops, Dilson Herrera is hitting very well at Double-A and could be a second baseman of the future himself.
On the other hand, the Mets still have control over Murphy for one more year beyond this one. Trading him now could improve the club's future prospects, but enough concessions have bee made for the future already. The way things are going right now, the Mets could be ready to win in 2015, and dealing Murphy would weaken a potential playoff contender. With players like Jacob deGrom and Lucas Duda steadily rising their stock, the next Mets playoff team doesn't seem as far away as it did even a month ago.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson recently told reporters that the team is likely to sit up at the trade deadline. However, with Flores and Herrera waiting in the wings, it's highly unlikely that Murphy is untouchable. The Mets would listen to an offers if they could get their hands on some close-to-the-majors outfield talent. A player like the Dodgers' Joc Pederson would be coveted by New York, but Los Angeles is getting what it needs at second base with Dee Gordon. The point is, the Mets would need to get one or two pieces that could help them in 2015 and beyond if they were to part with Murphy.
The Trade Market
Not too long ago it was reported that the Blue Jays and the Giants were in on Murphy, and neither team has since found a solution at second base. Toronto as experimented with a variety of players at second base, while San Francisco tried Brandon Hicks for a while before grabbing Dan Uggla off the scrap heap. Either playoff contender would consider Murphy a major upgrade at the keystone, at least offensively.
Other good teams with a hole at second base include the Athletics -- who get what they need defensively out of Eric Sogard, but could use some more pop at the position -- and the Orioles, from whom Jonathan Schoop is hitting just .216/.253/.329 this season. The Yankees also fancy themselves a contender, so we might as well throw them in the mix as well. Brian Roberts signed on to be the team's second baseman, but he's just slashing .239/.302/.363 and is liable to become injured at any moment.
The Mets' two biggest holes right now are outfield and shortstop, so you'd have to start a deal with a solid prospect at one of those positions. Toronto's outfielder Dalton Pompey was just promoted to Double-A and has the speed and on-base ability to be a future asset at the top of the batting order. San Francisco's Joe Panik has already seen some time in the majors this season, but if the Giants liked him that much, they wouldn't have signed Uggla to play second base. Panik also hasn't played shortstop at the higher levels of the minors.
Even after parting ways with Addison Russell, Oakland has a top prospect at shortstop in Daniel Robertson. However, the A's would be unlikely to part with another valuable chip for a second baseman that their offense doesn't really need. Another possibility is outfielder Billy Burns, who has wheels to rival those of Billy Hamilton, but probably won't ever be as skilled with the bat.
The Orioles don't have many young position players that are close to the majors, but the Yankees could offer outfielders Aaron Judge and Jake Dave to make things interesting.