Tigers, Blue Jays trying to pry Daniel Murphy away from Mets

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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Tigers, Blue Jays and Padres have inquired with the Mets about the possibility of a Daniel Murphy trade.

Murphy, 26, hit .320/.362/.448 in 109 games for the Mets last season before suffering a knee injury while playing second base in August. The left-handed hitter has experience at first, second, third and in left field.

Unfortunately, the Mets have three of those spots covered, and many feel that Murphy isn’t a long-term option at second base, partly because of a lack of range and partly because he may keep getting hurt there. The Mets would probably plug him in at second anyway if the season started tomorrow, but they might be open to trading him now.

Sherman suggests that the Mets like Detroit’s Andy Dirks as a potential alternative to Angel Pagan in center field. Pagan is a non-tender candidate with his salary set to jump to about $5 million in arbitration. The Blue Jays would probably offer a young arm or two in return.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.