81° Good Afternoon
81° Good Afternoon

Mets could extend Daniel Murphy a one-year, $15.8M qualifying offer

New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy looks

New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy looks on during batting practice before Game 3 of the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Credit: Newsday / William Perlman

CHICAGO -- While the Mets' focus remains on winning their first World Series since 1986, the events of the postseason have shaped their thinking somewhat on a few different fronts moving forward.

Despite Daniel Murphy's postseason power surge, the Mets remain lukewarm to the idea of a long-term deal, according to sources. That stance has not changed from the beginning of the season.

However, there have been thoughts about extending Murphy a one-year qualifying offer, though those discussions have been only preliminary because teams generally wait until after the season to set payroll moving forward.

Should Murphy be given a qualifying offer, he could accept a one-year deal for $15.8 million, which would constitute a significant chunk of payroll even if the Mets raise salaries following their best season in eight years.

If Murphy were to decline, the Mets would receive draft-pick compensation should he sign elsewhere, ensuring that the team would recoup something for his departure.

The Mets' hesitation to commit long-term to Murphy has stemmed partly from his defense, with the belief that the 30-year-old's range will only continue to diminish with age, thus impacting his versatility. Also, until now, Murphy had also been slow to adapt to the Mets' selective hitting approach.

Entering play in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series against the Cubs Tuesday night, Murphy led all players in the postseason with five homers. He was hitting .357 with eight RBIs and had help propel the Mets to within two victories of their first pennant since 2000.

If Murphy were to leave via free agency, the Mets have a second baseman waiting in the wings in highly regarded prospect Dilson Herrera.

Nevertheless, the Mets view Murphy as a potentially valuable piece on next year's roster. He can play second base, giving Herrera more time in the minors. He can play third, as a hedge in case David Wright has problems managing the spinal stenosis condition that affects his back. Murphy has also played first base.

However, the Mets could also fill that same need for versatility by re-signing veteran Kelly Johnson, who was acquired in a July trade with the Braves.

Like Murphy, Johnson could fill a utility role, offering insurance for Wright, providing more time for Herrera to develop and giving the Mets a useful lefthanded bat. Unlike Murphy, Johnson wouldn't command a significant long-term deal, nor would he bring the same offensive upside.

Rival executives peg Murphy fetching upwards of $10 million per season on a four-year deal.

"That's something that will be sorted out at the end of the season," said Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, who declined to get into specifics.

Murphy had been open to contract extension talks during the season and has expressed his desire to remain with the Mets, who drafted him in the 13th round of the 2006 draft. But sources said the Mets never engaged in any discussions.

The Mets have not had any talks with any of their pending free agents.

But sources said there is some interest in retaining lefty specialist Jerry Blevins, who has spent much of the year recovering from elbow injuries. The Mets' interest will hinge on how Blevins recovers from his second elbow injury.

Meanwhile, the Mets will consider retaining reliever Addison Reed, which represents a shift from when the Mets initially traded for the righthander from the Diamondbacks.

Reed, 26, made $4.9 million this year and will get a raise next season, when he is eligible for arbitration. He was initially acquired as a seventh-inning option and a likely rental.

But Reed has performed well since joining the Mets, posting a 1.17 ERA in 17 regular-season appearances. He has allowed one run in 21/3 innings over three postseason games. A former closer, Reed could be a potential replacement for set-up man Tyler Clippard, who is a free agent at season's end.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

New York Sports