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Why Does Sandy Get A Pass on Murphy And Turner?

Ever since the Mets parted ways with Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy, it is as if the Mets former second baseman have made it a point to show the Mets why they were wrong to get rid of them.  Not only are both drastically improved players, but they also make it a point to beat up on the Mets.

Since joining the Dodgers in 2014, Turner is a .309/.381/.509 hitter who hit 27 homers and 90 RBI last season accumulating a 16.9 WAR.  His 147 wRC+ is the best in baseball in that time frame among Major League third baseman.  In his 21 regular season games against the Mets, Turner is hitting .290/.380/.551 with six doubles, four homers, and 12 RBI.

As we remember from the 2015 NLDS, he was the Dodgers offense hitting .526/.550/.842 with six doubles, and four RBI.  Fortunately for the Mets, they had Murphy, who had one the best postseason runs in Major League history.  Unfortunately, the Mets have parted ways with Murphy as well.

Since leaving the Mets, Murphy has become an MVP candidate.  In one plus seasons, Murphy has hit .342/.390/.585 with 72 doubles, seven triples, 39 homers, and 159 RBI with an 8.4 WAR.  He leads all major league second baseman in batting average, OBP, OPS, doubles, and wRC+.  Simply put, he’s the best hitting second baseman in the majors.

He’s put that on display in his games against the Mets.  In 30 games against the Mets, Murphy is hitting .388/.438/.698 with 10 doubles, a triple, eight homers, and 29 RBI.

Each and every time Turner and Murphy batter the Mets, the debate is sparked over why the Mets let both players walk in the first place.

The defenders of Sandy Alderson fall back on the position that no one could have reasonably foresaw the production from either one of these players.  In his four years with the Mets, Turner was a .265/.326/.370 hitter who was nothing more than a utility player.  Murphy was a much better hitter than Turner with the Mets hitting .288/.331/.424.  There were spurts with Murphy where he was a 2014 All Star and his 2015 postseason run, but you’d be hard pressed to argue he’d be a better hitter than Jose Altuve and Robinson Cano.

So yes, you could point to those stats and say no one could have foreseen Turner and Murphy becoming the best hitters at their position since leaving the Mets.  However, why is this is a defense of Sandy Alderson?

Isn’t Alderson tasked with identifying talented players and predicting who will improve and who will regress?  Shouldn’t it be part of his job to put coaches in place that best helps cultivate the talent on his roster?  More importantly, how could it be a General Manager whiffs on evaluating two players who were under his control?  Put another way, how is it that Sandy Alderson didn’t know what he had in Turner and Murphy?

For all the good Sandy has done, especially getting Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud for R.A. Dickey, he has failed here.

We can make all the excuses we want for him, but it doesn’t change the fact he let two extremely talented players, who were with his team, slip out from under their fingers.  Even if you argue the other General Managers didn’t see this coming, those other General Managers did not have Turner and Murphy on their roster.

Worse yet, the Mets need help now at second and third base right now.  More than that, they need an answer for those positions going forward.  It’s time to stop giving Sandy a pass for his failure to see what Turner and Murphy would become.  After all, that is literally what his job is as a General Manager.

 

0 thoughts on “Why Does Sandy Get A Pass on Murphy And Turner?”

  1. Luis says:

    “no one could have reasonably foresaw”…forseen

    1. metsdaddy says:

      In this instance, it is foresaw

  2. Gothamist says:

    Yep,

    the Doctors said Wright would be new again and Murphy would not be needed much at third. Yet Duda is not a rocket scientist and he made a crucial error in Gane Five against KC. I was there a clear fvck up!

    Duda was not in the Mets long term plans DOM Smith was just drafted and overweight and DUDA COULD NOT HIT LEFTIES AS MURPH DID!

    a – Murphy’s propensity to over think in the field and baserunning lead to lost runs or errors WAS SO FRESH AFTER THE WORLD SERIES

    b – Sandy was in long in love w Zobrist long before the 2015 trading deadlne that KC out offered Sandy

    c – Free Agency : They were over confident they could get Zobrist.

    d – They were humiliated that Zobrist went to the dark horse bidder and was taking his physical in Chicago when the Mets said they were waiting to talk again with Zobrist’s agent

    e – Wilmer at SS Murphy at second they quickly recouped and traded Niese at career end for Walker and signed Cabrera

    f- They CLEARLY underestimated Murphy’s hitting ceiling

    g – They could not afford Murphy as a fifth infielder

    h – They under estimated his clutch (for years)

    i – They saw his playoff streak as a fluke after KC shut him down [ex Yankee pitching coach I may say]

    j – THEIR BASEBALL PEOPLE FAILED TO SEE THAT THEY HAD NO ONE WHO WOULD IGNITE OR DRIVE IN A RUN IN LATE INNINGS w extra base hits IN COMPETITIVE GAMES. What????

    MET FANS, YOU DO NOT WANT – do not want – TO SEE ALL THE TIMES MURPHY GOT LATE INNING DOUBLES TO BEAT OTHER TEAM BULLPENS WELL BEFORE THE 2015… after 2016/2017 of dismal results!!!

    The fans can be the excused for thinking Murphy was the expendable.
    But poor up the middle defense should not have been the number one reason to let their only late inning bat go.

    Adding Wright’s prognosis and decline well before the stenosis THEY CLEARLY SCREWED UP OR CHEAPED OUT!!!!!

    THEY SHOULD HAVE HAD MULTIPLE OPINIONS ON WRIGHT BEFORE LETTING MURPHY GO…

    JEFFREY IS A LOSER!!!!

    JEFFREY IS A LOSER!!!!

    JEFFREY IS A LOSER!!!!

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Even if Wright was 100% in the clear, getting rid of Murphy was a bad decision.

  3. Gothamist says:

    I had a home for Murphy at 2nd first left field spiritually role model loyalist ….
    I thought he needed five years at $75 million, I was so seduced by Ben Zobrist saw him comng at 4/$64 and we counted the chickens, we agreed to make Murphy expendable before Zobrist was signed. Zobrist demanded to start at 2nd base yet did not do so w the Cubs.

    I was buying in to the Mets that they commited to spend as they got stronger.

    ALL MET MET FANS GOT SCREWED BIG TIME!!!!

    Cespesdes deal may pan out to be a gross overpay, like Ollie Perez..
    That excess 5-12m annually could help elsewhere… maybe the gate is much higher yet I will not pay to see Cespesdes hit bombs against SD.

    What if Cespesdes was not destined to get big numbers Sandy? Murph?

    Anyway…

    W Walker in his walk year, I was pissed in early Nov WS about Murph’s inopportune errors and I never revisited Murph after Zobrist signed and they brought in Cabrera Walker in one day.

    Zobrist DID perform in the ALCS and the WS, Murphy did not … yet if the Mets had real owners having Murph back was a no brainer and even Murph saw a place for him EVEN after Walker was obtained.

    ZOBRIST, switch hitter, has speed, steals bases, has a high BB rate, plays four positions effectively …. i was so seduced and he even performed better in the next WS!

    Check out his 2010 stats : BB SBs Sacrifice bunts and SFs!
    A consummate team player…. Murph is also yet …

    Zobrist was obtained in a Michael Fulmer type deal for a #1 pick.

    The question is: If this was the Yankees, they lost Zobrist would Sandy have resigned Murph?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I don’t think the Yankees let the NLCS MVP walk under any circumstance

      1. Gothamist says:

        Jeffrey stinks!

  4. Doug says:

    Sometimes players just get better. The game is littered with players who were once below average and went on to become stars with new teams (Ortiz, Bautista, Encarnacion, Carlos Gomez, to name just a few). There are a number of reasons including maturation, a change in approach, new roles, new coaches, etc. I’m guessing you weren’t writing any scathing articles at the time Turner was released.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I didn’t have a blog when that happened, but I was livid over your Mets letting Murphy go.

      As for Turner, the move was a mistake even if Turner never turned into this as a Met. The team let him walk over a million despite Turner being a productive utility player.

      The Mets being cheap cost them dearly.

  5. Trey says:

    Hindsight bias at its finest here. Prior to that postseason, Murphys body of work had shown him to be a solid rather than good player. He wanted to get paid based on his postseason performance, and most teams were rightly(at the time) wary of that. 9 times out of 10, a player that gets paid on such a small sample size will end up not being worth the contract. Just because it worked out this one time doesn’t make the logic behind the decision faulty. And turner was just plain nor good. It’s it often people completely turn around their career at that point.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Your characterization is false. From the moment the Mets made the decision on Murphy, I was highly critical.

      And it is incorrect to assert no one saw this coming. During the regular season, there was an increase in pull rates and fly ball rates for Murphy. Both of which were indicators Murphy learned how to become a better hitter v

      As for Turner, you’re wrong there too. He was a good utility player well worth the million the Mets didn’t want to pay him. Ultimately, a major league team in NEW YORK didn’t want to pay a player a million. That’s inexcusable, and it cost the Mets.

  6. Mike says:

    I think there’s a valid point here about Murphy, but I watched Justin Turner for several years, and he was nothing more than a utility infielder. I was disappointed he was let go because he seemed like a valuable bench bat and I liked the pie schtick, but I don’t actually know how its possible he produced as he has in the years since.

    Moreover, let’s not pretend the Dodgers had any great insight into Turner’s explosion, nor did anyone else. He took a minor league deal with Los Angeles in 2014.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Turner was a good utility player the Mets non-tendered because they didn’t want to pay him a million. That’s absurd, and it negates any defense of the Mets.

      As for the Dodgers deal, they did sign him to a MiLB deal, but the deal had a provision he would make a million if he made the team. That’s the same million the Mets refused to give him.

  7. Ed Marks says:

    Hands down the 2 biggest blunders of Alderson’s tenure letting Turner and Murphy get away at least Turner is in the NL West he does not get as many opportunities to pulverize the Mets as Murphy does

    1. metsdaddy says:

      He doesn’t, but he sure does take advantage of the chances he does get.

  8. Doug says:

    Bottom line, articles like this are just foolish. Sure, in hindsight, non-tendering a utility guy who’d later go on to completely chance his approach and become a great hitter was a bad idea. Not giving Murph $40 million was also a poor decision. But, with the benefit of hindsight you can easily find two terrible decisions by every single MLB GM, past and present. It literally takes no effort whatsoever. Maybe 2 minutes. It is ridiculously difficult to judge baseball talent. Hell, I can find “worse” decisions by Alderson just by looking at the draft. I mean, to me, choosing Brandon Nimmo one pick before the Marlins took Jose Fernandez is 100X worse than either of these “mistakes”. Or, in 2012, the Mets take Cecchini while Cory Seager goes to the Dodgers 6 picks later. In 2013, the Mets take Dominic Smith at 11 while Aaron Judge is still available to the Yankees at pick 32. In reality, for every “poor” decision to let a player get away, there are 29 other GM’s out there that made the same poor decision.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Neither decision was bad in hindsight. Both were poor decisions at the time they were made, and they looked worse as time progressed.

      Turner was a good utility player the Mets passed on because they didn’t want to pay him a million. Think about that. A team got rid of a good player because of a million. It’s absurd.

      Also, there are many who will tell you Murphy’s improvement was not unexpected, and those articles were written prior to the 2016 season. Couple that with Wright’s back, and there was no justifying the move.

      Also, why shouldn’t we judge a GM’s moves in hindsight? Their entire job is forecasting player production. Why can’t we then use hindsight to judge how good their foresight is? Is there another tool we should we using here?

      Also, the draft is a completely different animal than judging major league players – especially, players you had and couldn’t gay got most out of.

      1. Doug says:

        It’s not just a million $. It’s a million $ plus a valuable 25 man roster spot. All on a .4 WAR player who could easily be replaced by someone making much less. Instead, the utility role went to Flores, making half as much, and at the time more likely to provide value than Turner. I was sad to see Turner go too, but just because he seemed like a good clubhouse guy. Not because of his on the field value.

        Agree, you have to judge a GM’s moves (or lack thereof) in hindsight. The point is 28 other GM’s didn’t think Murphy was worth $37 million over 3 years and 28 other GM’s didn’t think Turner was worth a Major League contract. It’s not like Alderson pulled a Dave Stewart and unloaded every top prospect in the system for Shelby Miller, Bronson Arroyo, and Phil Gosselin. He apparently had the players valued much the same as the rest of the market. If you saw something in Turner that the rest of MLB didn’t, good on you. But Turner wasn’t even remotely the player then that he is now. And even he admits as much.

        Also, “players you had and couldn’t get the most out of” hardly speaks to the GM. To be honest, in MLB it doesn’t even have much to do with the coaching staff. It’s on the player himself.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Flores didn’t make the Opening Day roster in 2014 because he was being groomed to be an everyday player.

          If you’re going to rebut the argument, get the facts straight.

          1. Doug says:

            Really? You think the guy who played 11 games at 1B, 81 games at 2B, and 30 games at 3B in 2013 (not to mention his many years at SS prior) wasn’t being considered for a utility role in 2014?

          2. metsdaddy says:

            No, he wasn’t. He was being looked at for a starting role.

        2. metsdaddy says:

          As for the rest of the argument, Alderson had two players on his team that became better players elsewhere.

          The reason is he didn’t know what he had in those players AND he hired personnel that couldn’t help then reach their potential.

          We know this because it happened elsewhere. It’s not like these were lazy players who stopped being lazy. They were baseball rats who put the time in.

          Also, I don’t buy the other GMs missed argument. They didn’t have either player in their org, and they didn’t see them everyday. Sandy had that chance, and he still missed out.

          As for your Dave Stewart argument, where is he right now?

          1. Doug says:

            You know other teams have scouts, right? Guys whose job it is to evaluate talent both on their teams and on others? And this isn’t 1960. Every team has access to video and advanced stats. Nobody knew that Turner was going to be this guy. Turner himself didn’t know it. That’s why he was just a 7th round draft pick and why the Orioles DFA’d him in 2010.

            And yes, Stewart was fired. That’s my point. If Alderson had made mistakes like that, he should be fired. But having some random utility guy learn how to hit with another team after he’s been non tendered? That’s just baseball. The Dodgers got lucky. They know it. Pretty much everyone knows it.

          2. metsdaddy says:

            Scouts can’t tell you about the guy. What makes him tick. His willingness to go the extra mile. His coachability. The team who has him can.

            Even if so, other teams not seeing it because you bungled your handling of a player doesn’t excuse your own malfeasance

    2. metsdaddy says:

      Also, while we’re on the topic, take two seconds and find a GM still employee who made two decisions like this and is still employed.

      Keep in mind, Sandy didn’t miss bad once, but twice.

      1. Doug says:

        Every single team and GM has a list of “players who got away”. That’s the nature of baseball. Sometimes guys develop later than you think they should. Look at Yonder Alonso this year. Dude was supposed to be a stud out of the gates. He finally figured it out. You think the Reds and Padres are pissed? Chris Davis finally broke out with the O’s after the Rangers gave him every chance to flourish. Aaron Hicks with the Yankees this year, was supposed to be that guy with the Twins. The 2017 version of Justin Smoak is the player that both the Rangers and Mariners thought they were getting back in the day. And, how many teams gave up on Bautista? He played for 4 different teams just in 2004 alone! The list goes on forever, and for as far back as baseball has been played.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          How many have two mistakes like this?

          Fact is Sandy doesn’t value players like this, and that’s why this happened.

      2. Doug says:

        Without even looking, I can tell you that EVERY single GM has had players who were once in their organization that went on to blossom with another organization.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Name GMs who had two

  9. Doug says:

    Again, EVERY GM has multiple misses. It’s impossible not to. I’ll just start with one who is universally regarded as one of, if not the, best, Theo Epstein. Off the top of my head: He let Johnny Damon walk. He traded Anthony Rizzo. He traded Starlin Castro.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      He traded Rizzo for Adrian Gonzalez. Not a mistake.

      He got outbid for Damon. Not a mistake.

      Castro is a 2.9 WAR player traded for a reliever which helped them get Chapman. He also got the max value he could for him to open a spot for Zobrist. Not a mistake.

      So, where were the two All Stars other GMs let walk with no intent of keeping them around?

      For something so simple, no one has showed me an example yet.

  10. Doug says:

    “He got outbid for Damon. Not a mistake.” Yeah, outbid by $12 million. The Mets were outbid by the Nationals by $22 million for Murphy. By that rationale, Murphy wasn’t a mistake after all? They were simply outbid.

    “Castro is a 2.9 WAR player traded for a reliever which helped them get Chapman. He also got the max value he could for him to open a spot for Zobrist. Not a mistake.” You think they couldn’t have gotten Chapman without Adam Warren? LOL. And, are you arguing that signing Zobrist was actually a good move? I mean, flags fly forever, so anytime you can win a World Series whatever moves you made to make it happen are good moves. I’ll buy that. Kudos. But I’m guessing the Cubs aren’t happy with the $44 million they’re paying Zobrist from now through 2019. Castro is both significantly younger AND less expensive and appears to be getting better while Zobrist appears to be aging fast.

    “He traded Rizzo for Adrian Gonzalez. Not a mistake.” Sure, 1.5 years of Gonzalez at $21 million/year is worth 9 years/$42 million for Rizzo (plus 2 team options at $14.5 million per…assuming they would have signed him to a similar contract as the Cubs did…which seems reasonable). Maybe you shouldn’t be criticizing GM’s if you think 1.5 years of Gonzalez is equal value to 11 years of Rizzo.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Mets weren’t outbid for Murphy. To be outbid, you have to be willing to negotiate. Mets refused to negotiate with Murphy.

      By the way, forgot to mention Epstein isn’t the Cubs GM. Kind of an important point to be made when comparing GMs.

      Also, your analysis on Gonzalez is way off. He didn’t trade for 1.5 years of Gonzalez. He traded for over seven years of Gonzalez.

      The GM, who came in after Theo, traded Gonzalez away. By the way, that GM was eventually fired.

      Seriously, if you want to have this discussion, I ask that you get some facts straight.

  11. Doug says:

    The Mets gave Murph a 1 year/$15.8 million qualifying offer. He declined. Hence, the $22 million bid difference. 1 year vs 3 years. Hell, even Murph didn’t know that he was going to be this good. If he had, he would have taken the qualifying offer, put up huge numbers, and gone back into free agency the following year to get a monster contract.

    Good point re: Epstein/Cubs.

    Gonzalez was traded because the Red Sox were horrible and including him was the only way to get rid of the albatross of a bad contract that Epstein gave Crawford. Regardless, even if they’d held him, 11 years of Rizzo at $62 million total (20.8 WAR from 2013-current) > 8 years of Gonzales at $159.5 million (19.8 WAR 2011-Current). So, $100 million more for Gonzalez who’s been worth 1 WAR less than Rizzo even with 2 extra years of MLB time (2011-12) and Rizzo is still under team control for an additional 4 years. Sure, no mistake here.

    I don’t really care about Epstein/Cubs/Red Sox/anyone besides the Mets. I simply chose him because he’s universally lauded as being the best in the business. But he’s had his share of blunders (I didn’t even mention some of the ludicrous FA signings he made). The point is all GMs make mistakes. They misjudge talent. They offer too much/too little. They look smart/dumb. It’s easy to magnify your favorite team’s mistakes, because that’s what you care about.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      The qualifying offer is not a negotiation. If the Mets even bothered negotiating with him, and were outbid, you at least knew they valued the player.

      Instead, the Mets couldn’t be bothered keeping him. That’s the problem.

  12. DODGER FAN HERE:

    JT wasn’t even close to the player he was now when the Mets released him. Regardless, even I was perplexed the Mets cut him and was excited LA picked him up before he became what he is now. He was a solid, productive hitter with the Mets who could play anywhere. It’s well documented in LA that after 2013 he changed his philosophy and technique at the plate to drive the ball in the air with a new uppercut swing. This may have been why the Mets released him, maybe it scared them if he failed, their coaches may not of agreed and also it was connected to Marlon Byrd who is a MLB pariah. Either way, I’d be a pissed off Met fan not having JT and Murphy. However you slice it, Alderson screwed the pooch on letting them go. We LOVE JT in LA.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      You don’t have to say Turner would be what he has been in LA to question the Mets decision. He was a useful player who was inexpensive.

      I’m happy he’s been successful in LA as he’s a good guy and a good ball player

  13. One other thing, JT has stated that he employed some of his new swing techniques the last month of his tenure as a Met. And that Marlon Byrd was teaching him. That last month with the Mets he put up amazing numbers. So all this started right underneath Aldersons nose and either :
    1. He didn’t notice or
    2. He didn’t like it
    but what happened the last 4 seasons just makes Sandy look SO BAD.

    I can say this with 100% honesty, I would have never let JT walk. He was already productive and provided so much defensive and lineup flexibility. Plus I would have been intrigued by his last month of production and would want to see what it would translate in to. But JT is one of the pioneers of the new uppercut swing philosophy.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      The Mets had a hitting coach at the time who suppressed this mindset. Now, they have Long, who might’ve induced similar results from Turner.

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