Will A get Sean Murphy’s catcher willing to trade?

Above MLBTR’s Recent List among the commercial candidates, the leading name is a catcher, Willson Contreras. There are plenty of reasons to expect him to move in the coming weeks, as he is an up-and-coming free agent who is playing well for a bad team. There’s always a chance for the Cubs to figure out an extension to keep him, but based on how Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo all settled last year, it seems reasonable to expect that Contreras is following them out of town.

Steve Adams of MLBTR recently looked at the matching possibilities, finding the Astros, Mets, Rays and Giants to be the most likely, although listing plenty of other teams makes sense to some degree. However, only one of them will get Contreras, leaving the other teams with the problem behind having to consider other options. The only other catcher to break MLBTR’s list was dropped to 41st place: Sean Murphy of Athletics.

Although Contreras and Murphy are both catchers, there are ways in which their situations differ. While Contreras is the lessor and earns a salary of $9.625 million this year, Murphy has yet to make an arbitration and still has three years of cheap control. Contreras is also considered the first bat catcher while Murphy generally gets more praise for the defensive side of his game.

There are a lot of reasons for Man A to keep Murphy, which is why he is ranked so much lower on the MLBTR leaderboard than Contreras. Although Team A has traded off many core players over the past year, it is those who have come close to free agency and made themselves more expensive through refereeing. Murphy is still cheap and manageable, not to mention talented. He received the Golden Glove award last year for his outstanding defensive ability and is considered the third best catcher in the majors by the Fielding Bible Awards poll, behind Jacob Stallings and Austin Hedges. He’s also no slouch in front of the plate, with a career hit of .229 / .316 / .423. That amounts to a wRC+ of 108, or 8% higher than the league average. This year, his walking speed is a little below that, coming in at .241 / .308 / .409, but that’s still a wRC+ of 106. His walking speed is one lower. slightly compared to previous levels, but he also stands out less. That above-average hit line, when combined with his stellar defense, has allowed him to generate 2.3 wins on substitutions for the year, according to FanGraphs.

So why even consider trading him then? For one thing, person A can certainly claim some money in return, given all the aforementioned attributes. There is also the team’s position, currently 32-61, the worst record in the American League and second only to the Nationals of all the teams in the majors. Person A is definitely not competitive now and it’s hard to imagine them completely reinventing themselves fast enough to suddenly become a competitor in 2023. Even if they feel 2024 is realistic, Murphy will be in his penultimate year of control by then, similar situation. that players like Matt Olson and Matt Chapman were in when they were traded this holiday season.

There is also another factor to consider, which is that Player A has one of the best catch prospects in major league knock-on baseball. Obtained in the Olson trade, Shea Langeliers considered prospect number 83 in the sport by Baseball America, number 52 by FanGraphs, number 81 by ESPN, number 80 by The Athletic and number 31 by MLB Pipeline. Like Murphy, he is considered the first glove catcher but still has an above average rate. This year, in 74 Triple-A games, he hit 16 home runs, stole 5 bases, and went 11.8 percent of appearances on his plate. His hit line is .272 / .364 / .505 up to 115 wRC+, or 15% above the league average. He recently represented the American League in the 2022 Futures Game, winning the MVP title after hitting a home run and throwing out an attempted base stealer.

Langeliers are now 24, turning 25 in the off-season. If Person A can find an offer with Murphy they like, they can trigger a deal and give the Langeliers the final two months of the season to get used to the big leagues team and life in The major leagues in general, entered the season with the torch passed. Him reported considered a deal with Murphy this past season, and that was before Langeliers was acquired.

The club’s fishing depth doesn’t stop there. Person A also has Tyler Soderstrom in the system. He also appeared on all five of the aforementioned prospect lists, ahead of Langeliers in each case. However, there are some question marks there, as he is still only 20 years old, playing in A and is predicted to move from behind the disc to the line. (He played the first base more than the catcher this year.)

For a team looking to add a catcher, Murphy could be more appealing than Contreras due to his more controllability. For example, The Guardians has Austin Hedges as their main catcher right now. He’s an impending freelance agent and only hit 0.172/.227/.270 this year. As a team with a 2 and a half comebacks with a wild card, the Guardian may not want to give up the prospect of a rental like Contreras and could also balk at his salary in their low-paying way. However, acquiring Murphy will allow them to upgrade to Hedges for a post-season boost this year and three more. Marlins recently acquired Jacob Stallings become their fulcrum, even though he’s having a bad year on the plate and will turn 33 this winter. They’ve played 5 1/2 games in the knockouts for now and probably won’t be interested in a rental. The Twins recently booked Ryan Jeffers on IL and don’t expect him back for several months. That leaves them with an impending free agent Gary Sánchez as their main catcher. Maybe they’ll look at a Sanchez-Murphy pair now leading to a Murphy-Jeffers pair next year. Christian Vazquez having a good season for the Red Sox, but both him and the sub Kevin Plaecki will become a free agent in a few months. Acquiring Murphy could save them from having to worry about their arrest situation in a season when they might as well lose J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts and Nathan Eovaldi. They are also currently out of the knockout stages, two games back and certainly won’t want to rent.

Murphy is currently in a bit of a limbo about the commercial candidate, as the same things that make him attractive to other teams will make Person A want to stick with him. However, if several teams step up and put an impressive offer in front of them, Langeliers’ presence could allow them to continue firmly behind the leaderboard while stockpiling talent for regions. other of the list. With his three years in control remaining, they don’t have to make a deal between now and the August 2 deadline. They can wait until the season and spend their time finding the best deal. However, there may be other sellers joining them at the time, such as Blue Jays, which will have to figure out their logjam Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk, Zack Collins and Gabriel Moreno. Appearance William Contreras gives the Braves a future surplus, as they too Travis d’Arnaud and Manny Pina contract for next year. (Pina is off for the rest of this year, which means it shouldn’t be an issue now.) Tom Murphy also made during the year but there is still a season of group control. Maybe the M family considers moving him in the winter, like Cal Raleigh has taken over and is having a breakout campaign. There’s a lot of uncertainty in that future, but for the next few weeks, person A has the best and probably only non-rental catcher available. While they don’t have to make the deal in the coming days, it might really be the best time.

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