If there was one team that everyone was expecting to pursue Oakland A’s catcher Sean Murphy, it was the Tampa Bay Rays. That time may have finally come.
Tampa Bay Rays perfect suitor for Sean Murphy
It was a matter of time before the Rays were involved in Murphy’s market. With few exceptions, catcher has been a black hole throughout franchise history, with Jose Molina and his 6.1 bWAR being the gold standard. Murphy could potentially pass Molina in under two seasons.
If he is able to replicate his 2022 season, Murphy could be the best offensive catcher that the Rays have ever had. He posted a .250/.332/.429 batting line with 18 homers and 37 doubles in his 612 plate appearances while making significant improvements to his walk and strikeout rates in the second half of the season. That showing has helped put Murphy in the upper tier of catchers in the game.
He also has the type of defense that the Rays look for behind the plate. The 2021 Gold Glove winner and a finalist for the award this season, he is one of the best in the majors in terms of pitch framing and shutting down the running game. Murphy is essentially the type of catcher that the Rays have been looking for years. And, as he has three years of team control left, he would be a longer term option.
On the A’s side, the Rays are exactly the type of team that they want to have get involved. Their prospect pipeline is one of the best in the game and could help the A’s come out of their rebuild sooner. If nothing else, the Rays reported involvement in Murphy’s market could increase the return if he lands with another team.
The Tampa Bay Rays are reportedly interested in Sean Murphy. It was seemingly a matter of time before they were involved in his trade market.