NEW YORK -- Daniel Murphy still has not watched the video clip of his injury in its entirety. He has studied his mechanics at second base and his positioning leading up to the collision, right up until Jose Constanza's spike drives into his left knee, tearing his MCL and ending his season in early August.
At that point, Murphy either rewinds the video or shuts it off.
"I haven't actually seen the knee bend in," Murphy said, "and I don't think I will."
After remaining idle for roughly 10 weeks, Murphy has since started running, hitting, lifting and "doing everything" he needs to do to prepare for Spring Training. That much is critical for a player who, barring a trade or something unforeseen, will be the favorite to start at second base for the Mets.
"I think they want me in the lineup, but I've got to play defense," Murphy said. "I'm not just going to be able to hit all year."
Hitting is something that rarely troubled Murphy last season, considering he sat fifth in the National League batting race at the time of his injury. But there are genuine concerns regarding his ability to play a middle-infield position. Twice in two years, Murphy has suffered serious knee injuries, both in part due to poor positioning around the second-base bag.
"I know the perception," said Murphy, a natural third baseman who has also played first and left field in the Majors. "I've been over there twice. I've gotten hurt twice. So I'm going to have to be as comfortable around second base as some would say I feel in the batter's box. I've got to make that my second home."
Mets near minority shares sales in club
NEW YORK -- General manager Sandy Alderson said Tuesday that the Mets expect an influx of cash in January, by which time ownership expects to have sold multiple minority shares in the club.
That cash will presumably go toward repaying a combined $65 million worth of loans to Major League Baseball and Bank of America -- not toward player payroll or other baseball-operations expenses.
"I wouldn't expect that an influx of capital in January or February ... would have a major impact on our payroll for 2012, at least going into the season," Alderson said.
The Mets confirmed Monday that they recently received a $40 million bridge loan from Bank of America, on top of the $25 million they have owed Major League Baseball for roughly one year. Though Alderson admitted that such debts could "theoretically" have an effect on payroll, he insisted that his own payroll's decrease from $140 million to less than $100 million was due to other factors.
"I wasn't even aware of the loan until yesterday, so it couldn't have had any impact on what I've done," said Alderson, who revealed last week that the Mets have sustained $70 million in recent losses. "On the other hand, I'm not surprised. With losses that we sustained last year, they have to be funded somehow, and that's either with cash or debt. I think a bridge loan makes perfect sense given the investments that are expected to close in January."
Mets looking to add depth for rotation
NEW YORK -- Though the Mets continue to seek out starting-pitching help, the recent pool of non-tendered free agents may not help that search. General manager Sandy Alderson said Tuesday that he is looking for flexible Minor League rotation depth -- not necessarily a pitcher who expects to enter camp in serious competition for a rotation spot.
"If everything goes right, we don't have a spot in that rotation," Alderson said. "So it's got to be someone who can either be a swingman in the bullpen or somebody who can go to Triple-A initially and maybe move up and down. There are some interesting names out there, but we have to hit the right spot with a guy that gives us the kind of flexibility that will ultimately give us the depth. That's not always easy to find."
Referring specifically to rehabbing left-hander Johan Santana as "a question mark," Alderson referenced a rotation that also includes R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese, Mike Pelfrey and Dillon Gee. The Mets do expect Santana to be fully healed from left shoulder surgery by the start of Spring Training, but cannot be sure of it.
"We think he's going to be ready, but he might not be," Alderson said. "That's where the depth becomes important."
Though outfielder Mike Baxter was not eligible for arbitration this winter, the Mets non-tendered him Monday in hopes of re-signing the Queens native to a Major League deal without first subjecting him to waivers. That they were ultimately unable to do so may not preclude them from re-signing Baxter at some point, according to general manager Sandy Alderson.
Ronny Paulino's departure means that there is a strong chance Mike Nickeas will enter camp as the team's backup catcher behind Josh Thole. "We'll see what's available as the next few weeks pass," Alderson said, not ready to commit entirely to Nickeas. "I doubt we'll do anything to supplement our catching other than having signed the Triple-A catcher [Lucas] May."
The Mets will officially introduce outfielder Andres Torres and reliever Ramon Ramirez on a conference call Wednesday. The team also expects to finalize free-agent deals with relievers Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch at some point this week.