Although he was an absolute fan favorite, Daniel Murphy heading to D.C. allowed the New York Mets to become a better ball-club.
By Michael Corbett
By now, everyone has heard about the 2015 New York Mets. Their moves at the trade deadline propelled their offense from a minor league lineup to a big league version that scared opposing pitchers with the threat of power hitting.
Yoenis Cespedes was at the forefront of those moves, but arguably the most impactful player in the postseason was not a trade acquisition at all.
It was a home grown talent, Daniel Murphy.
Murphy went on a home run hitting tear in the NLDS and NLCS. He provided much needed runs that would propel the Mets into the World Series for the first time since the turn of the century.
But as impactful as Murphy’s play was in the first two rounds of the playoffs, he was just as impactful in the World Series. Actually forget impactful, he played like a baseball god (smashing seven home runs during a span of nine October contests).
Unfortunately, he was at the forefront of the Mets struggles against the eventual World Series Champion Kansas City Royals. The Mets had a late lead in every game of the series, but a combination of blown saves, and horrid infield defense caused Royals rallies that ended the Mets magical run. Murphy’s slugging came to an abrupt halt, as well and his defensive mistakes killed the Mets title hopes. It was as if Murphy was back to the player he had been for the first 7 seasons as a Met.
Murphy had always been a consistent contact hitter, arguably the Mets best hitter through all those depressing years. His home run surge was an anomaly. It was never meant to be sustained. It was merely a hot streak that came at a time where emotions were running high in fans and as a result the city of New York lost their objectivity.
Everyone was screaming to re-sign the man, but would that have really been a smart decision?
He wanted too much money. He’s not a consistently reliable defender. He’s known for his boneheaded errors in the field. He’s been a liability more than a reliability in the field during his time in New York. Was he really worth overpaying based off a month long hot streak?
The proof is in the pudding, as they say.
The Mets chose to let him sign with the Nationals. He got the payday he wanted.
Since the season started, Walker and Cabrera have led the Mets offensive power surge. Not only that, but Walker and Cabrera have been far more consistent in the field. They are reliable defenders. They aren’t players that you have to hold your breath and hope they won’t miss a routine pop up or throw away a routine ground ball.
So, in the end, the departure of Daniel Murphy made the Mets better.
They’ve acquired depth, improved defensively, and are still the dangerous lineup that scared opposing pitchers during their second half run last season.
The city of New York is thankful for what Murphy did for the Mets during his time here, but his departure is the best thing he’s done yet as the Mets championship hopes are stronger now than ever before.