A’s Must Improve Outfield – Can David Murphy Help?
Oakland Athletics Roundup: Friday, January 8
Happy almost-the-weekend, Oakland Athletics fans!
If you haven’t read it already, on Thursday, Swingin’ A’s editor Samantha Riley discussed the need for a strong everyday left fielder.
It’s hard not to look at the left field situation and be concerned about relying on someone with as lengthy of an injury history as Crisp. Although he’s been a star for the A’s in the past, he’s only played 140+ games in a season twice in his 14-year career, and never with the A’s.
Having Fuld’s weak bat as an alternative is a scary proposition. Josh Reddick hits better against left-handed pitching than Sam Fuld hits overall. And while Mark Canha is always a viable option, one good season as a Rule 5 draft pick doesn’t exactly make him a proven hitter – something that is often overlooked when debating where Canha will play in 2016. Although he’s certainly capable of another solid season, relying on such a young player seems a bit risky.
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But what about signing a player like David Murphy? He’s no Yoenis Cespedes, but Murphy is a solid bat with a reliable glove. He could easily fill in for Crisp as an everyday left fielder if needed, and he’s gotten plenty of experience as a platoon player with both the Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Angels. Although he’s had a few rough patches since leaving the Texas Rangers, Murphy is a veteran who is capable of performing in both part-time and full-time roles. He would certainly be an upgrade over Sam Fuld, and even if Crisp remains healthy, Murphy would be able to handle the reduced at-bats of the “fourth outfielder” role in a way that younger players are often not able to do. He’s also spent time in both right and center field, so he could move around if necessary.
Of course, with Alex Gordon off the table and the pool of free agent outfielders quickly shrinking, Murphy’s salary might creep up past the “veteran depth” range that the A’s should be targeting. If that happens, they should hold off until next season because contending in 2016 is not likely. But if Murphy falls in the $5 million-and-under range, he would be a nice, inexpensive pick up for the Athletics, and would give them a fallback option in the event of injury to any outfielder.
In Case You Missed It:
A’s Need a Strong Everyday Left Fielder – As mentioned above, Samantha Riley takes a look at the Athletics’ biggest remaining need: a reliable left fielder. The Athletics need someone who can hit and play defense if they want to succeed.
Mike Piazza Elected to Hall of Fame – In yesterday’s recap, we covered the Hall of Fame signing of Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr. – two of the best players of all time. One of them even spent time in an A’s uniform.
Around the Web
Talking ‘Stros With Alex Bregman – Eric Huysman of Climbing Tal’s Hill sits down with Astros’ prospect Alex Bregman, who was drafted last June. Be sure to check out the interview here.
Mariners Sign Ryan Cook – SoDo Mojo’s Ben Garza reports on free agent reliever and former Oakland Athletics’ pitcher Ryan Cook. The right-hander signed a deal with the Seattle Mariners on Thursday.