The Mets are expected to make a legitimate bid for the free-agent infielder. And there is a belief within the organization that Murphy might consider the Mets even if they are not the highest bidder because he has been a member of the organization for his entire professional career and appeared to enjoy his time.
The Mets likely will not be the high bidder, though. So the question becomes how much of a discount Murphy might be willing to give, if any, to remain a Met. For instance, would he take two or three years from the Mets when he can get an extra year elsewhere?
ESPN's Jim Bowden projects Murphy will get a four-year, $48 million offer.
In determining how aggressively to act, the organization will have to balance the offer to Murphy with the value of picking up a draft pick after the first round now that Murphy has declined the qualifying offer.
Murphy, the National League Championship Series MVP, hit .281/.322/.449 during the regular season.
He debuted with the club on Aug. 2, 2008, making him the second-longest-tenured Met, behind only David Wright.
The Mets are prepared to use prospect Dilson Herrera at second base in 2016 if the winter plays out a certain way. They also could acquire a shortstop and move Wilmer Flores back to second base.