Bay Signing May Give Daniel Murphy First Base

NEW YORK - JUNE 22:  Daniel Murphy #28 of the ...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Although we’re still waiting for the official confirmation that Jason Bay passed his physical for the Mets, I started thinking about the repercussions this could have on the rest of the positions that the Mets need to improve. If the Mets couldn’t sign Bay or Matt Holliday, the pressure would have been on Omar Minaya to sign free agents or look for splashy trades to improve other positions in the field.

The biggest beneficiary of the Bay signing could very well be Daniel Murphy. The light-hitting first baseman was a prime candidate to be a victim of an upgrade at his position. But the offensive pop that Bay adds to the lineup could make Murphy a starter in 2010 or maybe a platoon player if the Mets can find a right-handed hitter to compliment him at first base.

 

The problem for the Mets is that the list of available free agent first baseman is hardly a murderers row. Most of the players that would draw interest are left-handed hitters like Adam LaRoche, Hank Blalock, and Russell Branyan. The one name on the list that does jump out is Ryan Garko. He’s had some success in the American League hitting for average but without the power that was always expected of him.

The aging Kevin Millar is still available but he’s really gone downhill the last couple of years. Last season he only hit .223 in 251 at-bats for the Blue Jays. I doubt that the Mets would consider him a viable option for a platoon.

With such limited options the Mets may very well end up going into spring training with Murphy as the starting first baseman. I’m sure that doesn’t inspire much confidence in Minaya and Jerry Manuel in a season where their jobs depend on early season success. But it doesn’t look like they have many great options to consider.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Be Sociable, Share!

8 thoughts on “Bay Signing May Give Daniel Murphy First Base

  1. nick migliore

    If the team decides to go down the platoon route I hope its Ryan Garko; hes very quality player who has mashed LHP (.887 OPS vs LHP) over his career. I wouldn't mind taking a risk on Carlos Delgado though, assuming he looks fine in winter-ball. If hes a bust and needs to be cut then you can just go with a cheap Murphy/Evans platoon until Ike Davis is ready, which could be by mid-season. I know the idea of playing Evans seems silly but the guy is good at 1 thing — hitting LHP — .872 OPS vs LHP in his major league career and a .934 OPS vs LHP in his minor league career. Russel Branyan is also an interesting name, and I would try to swoop in and get him on a 1-year deal if possible. I wouldn't even mind giving him 2 years for, say, $10M but I would front-load it — give him $7M in 2010 when he'll start full-time at 1B and the rest of it ($3M) in 2011 when, at worst, he'll be a versatile bench bat.

    1. Dave Doyle

      I like the Garko idea for one year. If they do sign Delgado, what do they do with Murphy though? I guess the same question applies to Branyan. I suppose they could leave Murphy at Buffalo for the season if they had to. The Murphy/Evans platoon isn't a bad idea but it sure won't scare opposing pitchers.

      1. nick migliore

        Thats a tough question. There really is literally no room for Murphy in AAA. I guess he could fill in as a backup corner infielder (who can play a little 1B and 3B if needed)/pinch-hitter.

  2. nick migliore

    If the team decides to go down the platoon route I hope its Ryan Garko; hes very quality player who has mashed LHP (.887 OPS vs LHP) over his career. I wouldn't mind taking a risk on Carlos Delgado though, assuming he looks fine in winter-ball. If hes a bust and needs to be cut then you can just go with a cheap Murphy/Evans platoon until Ike Davis is ready, which could be by mid-season. I know the idea of playing Evans seems silly but the guy is good at 1 thing — hitting LHP — .872 OPS vs LHP in his major league career and a .934 OPS vs LHP in his minor league career. Russel Branyan is also an interesting name, and I would try to swoop in and get him on a 1-year deal if possible. I wouldn't even mind giving him 2 years for, say, $10M but I would front-load it — give him $7M in 2010 when he'll start full-time at 1B and the rest of it ($3M) in 2011 when, at worst, he'll be a versatile bench bat.

  3. Dave Doyle

    I like the Garko idea for one year. If they do sign Delgado, what do they do with Murphy though? I guess the same question applies to Branyan. I suppose they could leave Murphy at Buffalo for the season if they had to. The Murphy/Evans platoon isn't a bad idea but it sure won't scare opposing pitchers.

  4. nick migliore

    Thats a tough question. There really is literally no room for Murphy in AAA. I guess he could fill in as a backup corner infielder (who can play a little 1B and 3B if needed)/pinch-hitter.

Comments are closed.