NEW YORK -- Daniel Murphy's time with the Mets may very well be coming to an end, but the decision is now his. The Mets on Friday extended Murphy a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer to remain with the club.
Murphy has one week to accept or reject the offer. If he accepts, he will be under contract for one more season, foregoing his chance at exploring everything the free-agent market has to offer. If he rejects, he will assure the Mets a 2016 compensatory Draft pick at the end of the first round if he signs elsewhere.
Murphy is free to talk to other teams while he weighs his qualifying offer.
No player has accepted such an offer in the three years the system has been in place. And Murphy, who figures to land a deal north of $40 million on the open market, profiles as no exception. But when asked specifically about the potential monetary discrepancy after the World Series, Murphy said: "I've made plenty of money. I don't think there are going to be 30 teams offering me a deal, so we'll have to see."
The second-longest tenured Met behind David Wright, Murphy hit .281 this season with a career-high 14 home runs in 130 games. Nine of his homers came in the second half, plus another seven during his torrid first two rounds of the postseason, lending credence to the notion that he is now more of a power-driven pull hitter than ever before.
Overall, Murphy is a .288 hitter with 62 homers and a .755 OPS in seven seasons. The Mets were not certain they would extend him a qualifying offer until he began his postseason tear, hitting .421 with those seven homers against the Dodgers and Cubs.
But Murphy is also a below-average defender, despite improvements throughout his career at second base. Mets fans will always remember his fielding error in the eighth inning of World Series Game 4, allowing the tying run to score against Jeurys Familia. That reputation will hurt his value on the open market.
With that in mind, teams that pursue him may gauge him more as a Ben Zobrist type, capable of playing first and third base -- and perhaps even designated hitter in the American League -- in addition to second. The Mets don't have that luxury, with Lucas Duda entrenched at first base and Wright at third. So they are unlikely to pursue Murphy with as much vigor as other clubs.
Murphy seemed to realize that in the moments after the World Series, saying: "I've enjoyed my time here. I really have enjoyed my time. This organization has been great to me. I love the guys. I can't sing their praises enough. I feel blessed to have been a Met."