The other day a conversation was started where the possibility of the Athletics upgrading at second base was discussed. I'm of the opinion that the A's don't need to do anything at second in order to reach the World Series but I did see the authors point. It's doubtful the Twins would part ways with Brian Dozier but there are a couple of other possibilities out there that would definitely be a step up from Eric Sogard, Nick Punto and Alberto Callaspo.
The first option would be the New York Mets' Daniel Murphy. Forget about what you saw the Mets to on Tuesday. That is an aberration and not the real New York Mets. Wednesday was more like the real Mets, That team is going nowhere and most likely will be sellers at the deadline. The other option I see out there is the Tampa Bay Rays' Ben Zobrist. Like the Mets the Rays haven't had the type of season that would make them buyers at the deadline so more than likely Zobrist would be available as well.
Let's start with Murphy.
Daniel Murphy is a professional hitter. As a Mets fan I've been watching him for years, and the one thing he does is hit. Murphy has a career batting average of .291 and his OBP of .355 have both been exceeded thus far this season. Murphy will also steal bases and is good for between 10-15 bombs a season. His RBI totals are a bit down this season that has more to do with his inept teammates than it has to do with him.
The drawback to acquiring Murphy would be his defense. By trade he's a corner infielder but because his stick is so good and the corners were covered they tried him in the outfield (big mistake) and two seasons ago finally decided he was a second baseman. His fielding percentage of .977 places him in the middle of the pack among MLB second basemen.
Ben Zobrist is also a professional hitter, but unlike Murphy he's more of a bombs and RBI guy. His career batting average of .261 is much lower than Murphy but his career OBP of .362 is better. His numbers this season are much lower than his career numbers but that seems to have more to do with nagging injuries and an awful Rays lineup this season than anything else.
Defensively speaking Zobrist can play OF as well as shortstop and second base. His fielding percentage at 2B is .974 but he's flawless as an OF and SS. Of the two Zobrist is the more defensive minded and versatile.
Contract wise Zobrist is due 7 million for 2014 and a team option of 7.5 million in 2015. On the other hand Murphy is owed 5.7 million and is second year arbitration eligible for 2015 and becomes a free agent in 2016. Compared to today's market neither Zobrist or Murphy is too pricey.
I don't know what it would take to acquire either of these two but I would think Adisson Russell's name will be brought up. I suppose other prospects could be involved as well as some cash. My question would be is whether either Murphy or Zobrist is even worth parting with Russell.
What do you think? Zobrist, Murphy or maybe there's someone else you like better? I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments section.
On today's show Alex and I talk about this as well as the All Star voting, Joe Mullinax and I discuss paying college athletes and Craig Brenner and I talk Kansas City Royals possible trade deadline moves and possible Royals All Stars. I'll leave the player below or you can download the program from my site here.