In the latest MLB news, infielder Daniel Murphy has announced his retirement from baseball. The 35-year-old veteran played for 12 seasons and enjoyed success with the bat throughout the 2010s. He wasn’t a great fielder, but he was able to play four different positions on the diamond, which made him a valuable asset for teams.
Latest MLB News: Daniel Murphy‘s Career
New York Mets
Daniel Murphy was drafted by the Mets in the 13th round of the 2006 MLB Draft out of Englewood High School, in Jacksonville, FL. He hit well in the minors and was promoted to the majors in August of 2008. Despite being an infielder for most of his career, the Mets put Murphy in left field for his first cup of coffee in the majors.
Murphy was one of the team’s most consistent bats during a rough stretch where the team only mustered one playoff appearance. After missing the entirety of the 2010 season due to knee injuries, Murphy became the team’s every day second baseman in 2011. He thrived that year, hitting .320/.362/.448 (126 OPS+) in 423 plate appearances before suffering another knee injury that summer.
Murphy was a solid base stealer too, racking up as many as 23 steals in a season in 2013. In 2014, Murphy made his first All-Star Game, hitting .289/.332/.403 (111 OPS+) with nine homers, 37 doubles, 13 steals, and 57 RBIs.
In 2015, Murphy carried a late-season power surge into the postseason, where he went on a legendary run in which he hit seven homers. At one point, Murphy homered in a record-setting six consecutive games. He won NLCS MVP that year, going 9-for-17 with four homers and six RBIs in the Mets’ four-game sweep over the Cubs. Unfortunately, Murphy’s bat cooled off as the Mets were defeated by the Kansas City Royals in the World Series. Murphy declined the Mets’ qualifying offer following the season and became a free agent.
In December of 2015, Murphy signed a three-year contract with the Washington Nationals worth $37.5 million. His magic from the 2015 playoffs carried over, as he was one of the best hitters in baseball during the 2016 season. Murphy hit a scalding .347/.390/.595 (155 OPS+) with 25 homers, 47 doubles, and 104 RBIs. He was an All-Star, won his first Silver Slugger, and finished second in NL MVP voting. Murphy led the NL in doubles, slugging percentage, and OPS.
Murphy was given a standing ovation in his first game back at Citi Field, but then he began tormenting his former club at an otherworldly pace. In 19 games against the Mets that season, Murphy hit an astounding .413/.444/.773 with seven homers, six doubles, and a whopping 21 RBIs. He then continued to rake in the postseason, going 7-for-22 with six RBIs in the NLDS in the Nationals’ five-game series loss to the Dodgers.
Murphy had another strong season in 2017. For the second consecutive year, he was an All-Star and a Silver Slugger recipient. He hit .322/.384/.543 (136 OPS+) with 23 homers, 43 doubles, and 93 RBIs. Murphy once again led the NL in doubles, and the Nationals again were eliminated in the NLDS, this time by the Cubs.
Murphy began to suffer from a knee injury in 2017 and was forced to miss the first two months of the season after undergoing microfracture surgery. He would hit well when he returned, registering a .300/.341/.442 (105 OPS+) batting line with six homers and 29 RBIs in 205 plate appearances. His defense continued to regress though and the Nationals were underperforming. In August of 2018, the Nationals traded Murphy to the Cubs for infielder Andruw Monasterio and cash.
The Cubs had the best record in the NL when Murphy joined them. Murphy played solidly in 35 games for them, hitting .297/.329/.471 (110 OPS+) with six homers and 29 RBIs. The rest of the Cubs lineup began to struggle though, and they surrendered their division lead in a Game 163 against the Brewers. Murphy and the Cubs couldn’t get their offense going in the NL Wild Card Game against the Rockies either and lost the heartbreaking game in 13 innings.
Murphy became a free agent following the 2018 season and signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the Colorado Rockies with an option for the 2021 season. Unfortunately, he was never able to regain the magic he had in previous seasons and continued to struggle with injuries. All told, Murphy hit just .269/.316/.426 (81 OPS+) in 172 games with the Rockies. The team bought him out for six-million dollars following the 2020 season.
Latest MLB News: Daniel Murphy’s Legacy
Daniel Murphy was beloved by Mets fans, though he continued to torment them after he left the team. Overall, he played 46 games against the Mets and hit .355/.411/.650 with 12 homers, 14 doubles, and 44 RBIs. He will forever be remembered by baseball fans for his legendary 2015 postseason performance and his brief stretch as one of the game’s best hitters.
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