Yesterday the Mets signed free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson to a 4 year, $60 million contract, the second free agent outfielder the Mets have picked up this off-season. He and Chris Young will likely be the starting corner outfielders for the team in the forthcoming season, with Juan Lagares patrolling center. The addition of Granderson adds a viable power bat to the middle of the Mets lineup, but also exposes a glaring weakness, they do not have a lead-off hitter. As of right now I would project the Mets’ line-up to look like this:
1 – Lagares CF
2 – Murphy 2B
3 – Wright 3B
4 – Granderson RF
5- Duda/Davis 1B
6 – C. Young LF
7 – D’Arnaud C
8 – Tejada SS
I doubt the Mets are done tinkering with their roster this off-season, mainly because they can’t be. They have a log jam at first base which must be cleared up, but you’d be hard pressed to find a lead-off hitter at first base. They are looking for an upgrade at shortstop, but I doubt they will find one, which means that Ruben Tejada will likely be the team’s starting shortstop next year. Travis d’Arnaud is going to be the team’s starting catcher and captain David Wright is going to be on the hot corner for a long time to come. That leaves only the option of bringing in another outfielder or second baseman as potential places to put their missing lead-off man.
That is why this team must move Daniel Murphy, one way or another. If they opt to not add on another everyday player to the roster this off-season they have a solution to their problem within the organization already. Eric Young Jr, who did a good job sparking the Mets last year from the lead-off spot after his arrival via trade. Young was playing left field last year, but he has experience at second base, where his offensive output projects more favorably.If the organization opts to move EY to second it would necessitate moving Murphy to first base and jettisoning both Lucas Duda and Ike Davis for whatever you could get for them. I am not in favor of this move, but I could certainly deal with it. A lineup that starts E. Young – Murphy – Wright – Granderson is at least a legitimate major league top of the order. The only issue is that Daniel Murphy does not have the power numbers to provide the production that you need to get from first base.
I would prefer to have the team move either Davis or Duda in a trade with Murphy which brings back some decent major league level talent, whether it be a pitcher or position player does not matter, just something of value. I am a big fan of Murphy but his the only expendable player on this roster that has any real value. Sandy Alderson must use Murphy’s value to help this team get to the next level. Either way, Daniel Murphy can not be this team’s second baseman next season unless another significant move is made by the front office to provide a top-of-the-order player to this team, and I don’t see that move happening.