The Oakland A’s have a question about Sean Murphy’s future, and it is not because of anything he has done.
Murphy has developed into a solid catcher in his own right, a Gold Glove winner who also has plenty of pop and a respectable game at the plate. He enters the All Star Break with a solid .241/.308/.409 batting line with nine homers and 22 doubles in his 339 plate appearances. That combination would be more than enough for most teams, especially as he has three years of team control left after this season.
Three possible trade destinations for Oakland A’s catcher Sean Murphy
The problem is that Murphy is going to start costing money since he is entering arbitration. While that would not be an issue for most teams, the A’s are slashing payroll everywhere they possibly can. Meanwhile, Shea Langeliers is on the cusp of reaching the majors and has nothing to prove in Triple-A any longer. A move seems inevitable.
The Oakland A’s would have plenty of suitors should they put Sean Murphy on the trade block. Let’s look at three possible landing spots.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals need to find a long term solution once Yadier Molina retires at the end of the season. Sean Murphy could be the answer.
In theory, Ivan Herrera is the heir to Molina’s spot behind the plate. He does have the offensive capabilities to be a solid major leaguer, showing a strong ability to make contact and has decent power. The problem is that he is atrocious defensively. His pitch framing may have improved, but he has problems blocking balls in the first and his framing still remains below average, especially in the bottom of the zone.
That is not a problem with Murphy. The Cardinals’ pitching staff needs someone capable of taking charge behind the dish and who has the defensive ability to make a difference. Having a respectable bat that can slot in their solid lineup would be a bonus.
Trading for Murphy now would add a bit more time for the Oakland A’s catcher to get familiar with their pitching staff. He would have a couple of months to learn from Molina, further honing his craft, while building that rapport with the pitchers. Murphy would also be a perfect option in case Molina’s knee continues to give him issues.
The St. Louis Cardinals need to find their replacement for Yadier Molina in 2023. Sean Murphy could be the answer.