Aaron Gleeman

Yankees downplay interest in Daniel Murphy due to poor defense

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Daniel Murphy leaving the Mets as a free agent seems to be all but assumed at this point and apparently his staying in New York with the Yankees is unlikely as well.

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York writes that Yankees general manager Brian Cashman “essentially indicated Monday that his ball club is not planning to be a major player” for Murphy, citing the presence of in-house options at second base that already offer the offense-first skill set.

I think if we’re going to pursue something … we have two offensive-profile players already at that position. So I think if we did any changing there it would be seeking more balance of both sides of the ball.

In other words, the Yankees–like many other teams, no doubt–don’t view Murphy as a solid enough defensive second baseman to make his overall value there particularly strong. And they already have Chase Headley at third base and Mark Teixeira at first base.

Murphy is expected to turn down the Mets’ one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer in search of a long-term deal, but his shaky defense at second base and good but great offensive track record make him an interesting test case for the open market.