In theory, the Atlanta Braves would not be a team that would have an interest in Sean Murphy.
They have their catcher of the present and future in William Contreras. Travis d’Arnaud is due to receive $8 million next year and the Braves hold a team option for another $8 million for the 2024 season. Manny Pina, who may be the Braves’ third catcher, is due to receive $4 million next year. Murphy would seemingly be a luxury that they do not need.
Atlanta Braves could actually have need for Sean Murphy
But that is all in theory. The reality is that Contreras has been a disaster defensively behind the plate, prompting the Braves to give him time in the corner outfield. The universal designated hitter could also be a factor, giving the Braves another option to keep his bat in the lineup. Pina appeared in just five games last season due to injuries. However, d’Arnaud was an All Star last year and could hold down the fort easily. Yet the Braves have reportedly reached out to the A’s regarding Murphy.
Murphy could still be an attractive piece for the Braves as they look forward. He has three years of team control and is entering arbitration for the first time. His .250/.332/.426 batting line with 18 homers and 37 doubles over 612 plate appearances would be a slight upgrade over d’Arnaud. As Murphy is six years younger as well, it is possible that he could continue to get better.
This would also position the Braves to be able to trade d’Arnaud in a separate deal. Teams are desperately seeking help behind the plate, to the point where Pina has generated trade interest despite his injury woes last year. d’Arnaud may not bring back the same prospects that Murphy would cost, but he could generate a solid return in his own right.
The Braves would still seem to be a longshot for Murphy. Other teams, such as the Guardians or Rays, would be a more logical fit. However, the Braves have surprised before on the trade market, making it impossible to count them out.
The Atlanta Braves are the latest entrant in the Sean Murphy Sweepstakes. While they would seem to be a longshot, there is always a chance.