Daniel Murphy: 3 Teams That Help His Fantasy Value in 2016


October 20, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy (28) celebrates the 8-3 victory against the Chicago Cubs in game four of the NLCS at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

This has been an exciting postseason. One of three teams will end a long World Series-less drought. The one team everyone is talking about is the New York Mets. Riding the momentum second baseman Daniel Murphy has brought, the team swept the Chicago Cubs on their way to the World Series.

Murphy has been with the Mets since 2008. He played in just 49 games that season. The following year, he played in 155 games and hit 12 home runs, 63 RBI and a .266 batting average. He missed the 2010 season with a knee injury. His 2011 season was also cut short with another MCL injury.

He began the 2012 season fully healthy and played in 156 games. Despite hitting six home runs, he drove in 65 runs with a .291 average. He hit 13 HR/78 RBI/.286 in 2013, 9 HR/ 57 RBI/.289 last year and 14 HR/ 73 RBI/.281 this year.

Looking at his past four seasons, the stats show that he isn’t the best power hitter, but can drive home 55-75 runs per season while maintaining a .285 batting average. In those four seasons, he averaged 148 games, 10 HR, 68 RBI and a .287 average.

Moving forward, the Mets seem to set at middle infield. The team has Dilson Herrera waiting in the wings. The 21-year-old second baseman hit .327/.382/.511 at Triple-A Las Vegas. If he doesn’t pan out, the Mets could use Wilmer Flores at the four-spot while Ruben Tejada, if 100 percent, mans shortstop.

Daniel Murphy is a free agent at the end of this season. He is making $8 million this season. If the Mets wanted to, they could send Murphy a qualifying offer, which would be around $15.8 million. According to Spotrac.com, his $15.8 million would be second-highest cap hit among second basemen.

The Mets organization and fans are surely thankful for Murphy’s postseason production. He has seven home runs in nine games, homered in six straight, 11 RBI and a .421 average. But the numbers don’t add up to favor the Mets in the future.

Regardless of what happens this season, Daniel Murphy will most likely not be with the team next season. Here are three teams he could join that will maintain or boost his fantasy value heading into the 2016 season.

Next: Los Angeles Angels

Oct 4, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) and designated hitter Albert Pujols (5) and manager

Mike Scioscia

(14) and left fielder

Daniel Robertson

(44) and bench coach Dino Ebel (21) celebrate Pujols hitting a two run home run against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels have a talented roster. Future Hall of Famer in Albert Pujols and the best hitter in the game, Mike Trout. However, there isn’t much support around the two power hitters. The current second baseman, Johnny Giavotella was below average this season. He played in 129 games, hitting .272 with four home runs and 49 RBI.

Bringing in Daniel Murphy will provide the Angels with a left-handed hitter that can get on base, which helps Trout and Pujols. The Angels were 20th in runs scored last season.

An added benefit to the Angels signing Murphy is that he could also play third base. David Freese hit 14 HR/ 57 RBI/.257 in 121 games this season. Murphy’s versatility allows the Angels to play a great defensive and offensive lineup.

Next: Chicago White Sox

Sep 2, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago White sox pitcher

Jake Petricka

(52) and catcher

Tyler Flowers

(21) and first baseman Jose Abreu (79) in conference on the mound during the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Twins win 3-0 over the White Sox. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago White Sox arguably need the most help at second base heading into 2016. Carlos Sanchez played 120 games at second base for Chicago. He hit just .224/.268/.326 with five home runs, 31 RBI and 81 strikeouts in 2015. If they were to keep Sanchez at second base, the White Sox could use Daniel Murphy at third base, too.

The White Sox had four players man third base this season, Conor GillaspieGordon BeckhamMike Olt and Tyler Saladino. They combined for 16 home runs, 59 RBI and a .220 batting average. Murphy can either match or surpass those numbers in Chicago.

The White Sox finished 22nd in team batting average, 27th in OBP and 29th in slugging. Jose Abreu could use some help on offense and Daniel Murphy could be his savior.

Next: Houston Astros

Oct 11, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros left fielder

Colby Rasmus

(center), second baseman Jose Altuve (27), and shortstop Carlos Correa (1) celebrate after defeating the Kansas City Royals in game three of the ALDS at Minute Maid Park. Astros won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Astros are an unlikely destination, but they are the team of the future. The team is set with Jose Altuve at second base. However, the team can use Daniel Murphy at either first or third base.

Third baseman Luis Valbuena and first baseman Chris Carter did not perform at a high-enough level to hold Murphy from a starting job. I wrote about Carter’s power vs. average value and it did not fall in his favor. Valbuena hit 25 home runs and 56 RBI, but his .224 batting average leaves a lot to be desired.

The Astros finished second in home runs and second in strikeouts. Removing Carter, 151, or Valbuena, 106, from the lineup wih create more scoring opportunities for their starting and relief pitchers.

A lineup consisting of Altuve, Murphy, Carlos Correa, and George Springer could lead the team to an AL West title.

Next: Final Analysis

October 20, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy (28) reacts after he hits a two run home run in the eighth inning against the Chicago Cubs in game four of the NLCS at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Murphy has put on a eye-opening performance this postseason. There will likely be a team that overpays for him in the offseason. There are a couple of other teams that could make an offer for Murphy besides the ones I listed. The New York Yankees could have Rob Refsnyder at second. On the west coast, the Los Angeles Dodgers will lose Howie Kendrick to free agency. If Kendrick doesn’t re-sign, Murphy is an option.

While Mets fans think letting Daniel Murphy go is a mistake, fantasy owners are hoping he leaves New York. Citi Field ranked 28th in runs, 17th in home runs and 30th in hits according to ESPN’s MLB Park Factors.

The three stadiums of the teams I mentioned all ranked ahead of Citi Field this year. Fantasy baseball is about opportunity, and I think all three teams provide opportunity for Murphy, whether it’s guaranteed playing time or a hitter-friendly park.

Daniel Murphy was a 14th-round pick in standard ESPN leagues and finished 192nd among all players and 15th among second basemen on the Player Rater. I think he is a top-150 player and top-10 second baseman, especially if he can go to one of these teams.

Next: Jorge Soler: Is 2016 The Breakout Season?