The rebuilding A’s are getting loads of curiosity in catcher Sean Murphy, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic writes in his newest notes column. A deal isn’t essentially doubtless, given the 27-year-old’s three remaining seasons of membership management past the present marketing campaign, however Oakland does have a pair of extremely touted catchers progressing by way of the minors in Shea Langeliers and Tyler Soderstrom. Langeliers, acquired from the Braves within the offseason Matt Olson commerce, is especially near the massive leagues, having slashed .267/.356/.503 with 17 homers, 14 doubles, a pair of triples and 5 steals (in 5 tries) by way of 77 Triple-A video games this season.
Due to that remaining membership management, Murphy would make sense for contenders and non-contenders alike (as lately explored by MLBTR’s Darragh McDonald). Postseason hopefuls just like the Mets, Rays and Guardians (amongst others) have obtained poor manufacturing from their backstops this season and, speculatively talking, can be candidates to enhance behind the plate. On the similar time, present non-contenders with holes or underwhelming manufacturing behind the plate might look to Murphy as a possible key contributor for 2023 and past. For example, the Marlins’ efforts to land their catcher of the longer term have but to bear fruit, as Jacob Stallings has struggled mightily in his first season with the Fish. Over in Colorado, the three-year extension given to Elias Diaz appears like a misstep, given his .237/.294/.378 batting line and deteriorated defensive scores.
Murphy is simply arbitration-eligible for the primary time this winter, so his payroll shouldn’t be a lot of a consideration for any workforce trying to purchase him. His actual wage received’t be identified till the offseason, however Murphy’s pre-arbitration resume received’t be as embellished as that of fellow commerce candidate Willson Contreras, who earned $4.5MM in his first journey by way of the method. When it comes to counting stats, Murphy at present compares favorably to Mitch Garver’s pre-arb platform — Garver earned $1.875MM — however he nonetheless has the rest of the season so as to add to these totals. Murphy’s 2021 Gold Glove Award will deservedly work in his favor, doubtless pushing him a methods previous that Garver level, however typically talking, he’s not going to interrupt the financial institution by way of wage simply but.
Whereas few groups are going to dramatically alter their valuation primarily based on a pair weeks of taking part in time, a well-timed scorching streak just like the one Murphy is at present having fun with can’t harm the A’s and will give them a slight bit extra leverage when negotiating secondary items in a possible commerce. Murphy has been on fireplace in July, hitting .333/.395/.515 with a pair of homers and 6 doubles in 72 journeys to the plate. Courting again to June 1, he’s at .291/.354/.454. It’s an arbitrary cutoff, however Murphy’s sturdy summer time reminds that he’s one of many extra well-rounded catchers within the sport.
Defensively, Murphy is a 2021 Gold Glover who at present boasts a 34% caught-stealing charge and a pair of pickoffs this season. He’s tallied 12 Defensive Runs Saved over the previous three seasons, posting perennially sturdy framing marks alongside the best way. He’s yielded solely two handed balls since Opening Day 2021 regardless of rating fifth amongst all Main Leaguers with 1553 innings caught in that point.
It bears repeating that there’s little urgency for Oakland to maneuver Murphy, who’ll be inexpensive once more subsequent season and will command a big return whether or not he’s moved within the subsequent week, this offseason, subsequent summer time and even within the 2023-24 offseason. On the similar time, if a workforce is ready to make a considerable provide, there’s little motive for this iteration of the A’s to not take into account that provide. The Athletics are extraordinarily unlikely to compete in 2023 after their current slate of trades (and after the anticipated commerce of Frankie Montas over the subsequent week), they usually’re the uncommon large league workforce for which catching is a place of organizational energy.