Just because Daniel Murphy is slumping really bad, doesn’t mean I’m jumping off the #ImWith28 bandwagon.

The Mets are very much in the thick of things as of the end of June. With a few weeks before the All-Star break, they’re just 3.5 games behind the Nationals for 1st place in the NL East. Because of this, the organization needs to make a decision regarding improving the ball club via the trade market before the trading deadline, if they feel the team is going to make a serious run at the post season in the 2nd half of the season.

Reports indicate that the team will wait until the All-Star break to potentially look into making any moves to improve the team and especially the bullpen, which right now is a deadly weakness. The Mets bullpen is the worst in the National League (5.30 ERA before Sunday night’s game) – if  not addressed, the bullpen can cost this team the shocking run we all believe in and are looking forward to.

Where does Murphy come into all of this? He’s trade bait.

Obviously, at the moment, his value is as low as it’s been  since his injuries, but he won’t be in a slump forever. When on, he is amongst the best hitters in the league. Let’s not forget that last season he was right alongside Jose Reyes vying for the batting title before his season ended early due to injury. Through 109 games he was hitting .320 and had 125 hits.

Being that I’m neither a scout nor a baseball official, I’m not going to act like I know what teams would be willing to part with for a package of Murphy, or Murphy straight-up. What I do know, is that I would not be against parting ways with him if it’s going to bring a bullpen arm to the team. Murphy is a man without a position. Although his defense as 2nd base has been serviceable, the Mets have plenty of middle in-field depth, that can replace Murphy in both a starting role and a back-up role, that bring a much better glove and position flexibility.

Let’s say they trade Murph for bullpen help. With Tejada as the everyday shortstop, Jordany Valdespin slides into the everyday 2nd baseman role beside him. Valdespin is much more athletic than Murphy and brings smoother defense to the 2nd base position that in emergencies, can fill in at SS; that being said, not nearly as well, but the point is he can.

Who becomes the potential back-ups?

  • Omar Quintanilla: 109 games at 2nd, 114 games at SS
  • Ronny Cedeño: 86 games at 2nd, 566 games at SS
  • Justin Turner: 92 games at 2nd, 10 games at SS – also has played 47 games at 3rd and can fill-in at 1st.
  • Wilfredo Tovar: Currently in Double-A – Very good bat and an excellent glove at SS. Good enough defender to also back-up at 2nd base.
  • Not to mention the rest of the middle-infield prospects the Mets have in the lower minors who will be ready in a few years to challenge both Tejada and Valdespin for their jobs if their development goes as planned.

I love Daniel’s bat, his work-ethic, his energy and excitement in the dugout. He’s a gamer and a fan favorite. Unfortunately, the Mets need bullpen help, and right now, they’re not in a position to trade top-prospects nor their superstars. If Murphy breaks out of his slump and starts hitting again, he’s one guy who has the bat to bring back something decent and once gone, won’t leave a glaring hole on the team.

Just don’t stay put, Sandy. Please. Fix the bullpen. Give this team a chance to shock the world.

Let’s Go Mets!