According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the New York Mets will tender a $15.8 million qualifying offer to Daniel Murphy. This would guarantee a draft pick after the first round if Murphy rejects the offer and signs with another team. No player has accepted a qualifying offer in league history, and it’s doubtful Murphy would be the first to break from the norm.
It was reported earlier this season that Murphy would unlikely get the qualifying offer, but maybe slugging .939 in 34 plate appearances this October swayed the club to change their mind. Sherman notes that it’s “iffy” if Murphy reaches a long term deal with New York this offseason due to Sandy Alderson and staff looking at the bigger picture when evaluating talent, not being convinced by “hot streaks.”
Murphy, 30, has been somewhat consistent with his six-plus seasons with the Mets. The last four seasons he has a wRC+ between 103-110 (100 is league average) and an fWAR of no lower than 2.5 the last three seasons. For his career, he is slashing .288/.331/.424 with a 109 wRC+, 13.8 fWAR in 903 games. Before 2015 he had a strikeout rate of 13%, but lowered it to 7.1%, the lowest among qualified hitters.
Sherman notes that executives have told him that a Murphy deal could be similar to Chase Headley‘s, four years, $52 million, but teams might shy away because of the draft pick loss. Sherman also brought up that the Mets’ payroll will gradually rise in the coming years with Lucas Duda, Travis d’Arnaud, Jeurys Familia, Jacob deGrom, and Matt Harvey close to huge raises.