The free agent and trade markets for second basemen haven’t worked in the Detroit Tigers’ favor thus far. With baseball’s Winter Meetings underway on Monday, the team is continuing to explore options.
The latest rumor, from the NY Post’s Joel Sherman, has the Tigers as one of three clubs talking to the New York Mets about acquiring infielder-outfielder Daniel Murphy.
Murphy, 26, is a left-handed hitter who hit .320/.362/.448 with six home runs and 48 RBIs in 423 plate appearances for the Mets last season. He mostly played first base, subbing for the injured Ike Davis. But he also played 101 games at that position in 2009.
He missed the 2010 season due to various knee injuries, the most serious being a torn MCL suffered after a hard takeout slide at second base. Murphy tore his MCL yet again this past August, but it was a less serious injury that didn’t require surgery.
Obviously, Murphy wouldn’t play much — if any — first base with the Tigers, but he’s also seen time at second and third base, as well as left field, during his career.
So he could play at all three positions, adding yet another name to the cluster of players currently set to platoon at second and third base. But his bat might help him stand out in competition for a regular job. He could see some time in the outfield too, though judging from his defensive metrics, left field might not be the best position for him.
According to Sherman, the Mets like Andy Dirks, viewing him as a possible replacement for Angel Pagan (who could be non-tendered) in center field next season. The Tigers would likely have to include another player, probably a pitcher, to make a deal happen.
The Toronto Blue Jays and San Diego Padres are the two other teams that have inquired about Murphy.