NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — According to MLB.com, the Nationals are interested in two second basemen: the Reds’ Brandon Phillips and none other than Daniel Murphy.
Murphy, of course, played for the Mets from 2008-15. A fan favorite in Queens, Murphy turned down New York’s $15.8 million qualifying offer in November and is now a free agent.
A trade for Neil Walker — after the Mets failed in their pursuit to sign Ben Zobrist — all but assured that Murphy’s career in New York was over.
Because Murphy was extended a qualifying offer, the Mets will receive a draft pick when the 30-year-old signs elsewhere.
The smooth left-handed hitter had a postseason for the ages in 2015. In the National League Division Series against the Dodgers and the National League Championship Series against the Cubs, Murphy hit a remarkable .421 with seven home runs and 11 RBIs. The former All-Star set a postseason record by homering in six consecutive games, and was rewarded with NLCS MVP honors.
His bat cooled off in the Fall Classic, however, and he made some blunders with the glove that proved costly.
Murphy is a dependable hitter, but he makes too many errors and has limited range. He’s also a subpar baserunner. He hit .281 with 14 home runs and 73 RBIs during the regular season.
The Nationals were widely expected to win their third National League East title in four years in 2015, but the Mets dethroned them and won the division for the first time since 2006.