Atlanta Wins the Sean Murphy Sweepstakes

Atlanta Wins the Sean Murphy Sweepstakes
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For the second year in a row, the Atlanta Braves and Oakland A’s have done business. On Monday, the A’s traded catcher Sean Murphy to the Braves as part of a three-way trade with the Milwaukee Brewers.

To clear a potential catcher logjam, Atlanta is sending Williams Contreras to the Brewers and Manny Pina to Oakland in the deal. The A’s also landed multiple prospects, while the Brewers get pitchers Joel Payamps and Justin Yeager.

It is the second trade that Oakland and Atlanta have done together. Last offseason, the Braves traded for first baseman Matt Olson in a blockbuster trade that netted Oakland multiple prospects.

 

Sean Murphy

Sean Murphy, 27, was viewed as a marquee trade candidate throughout the offseason. In Oakland, he built a reputation for being one of the more balanced catchers in the league. Murphy enjoyed a breakout season at the plate in 2022. In 148 games, he hit .250/.332/.426 along with 18 home runs, 66 RBIs, and 37 doubles. Murphy’s 3.5 WAR led a bottom-dwelling Athletics club by a 1.8-point margin.

Defensively, Murphy has won a Gold Glove during his short career, in the 2021 season. That season, his 1.3 dWAR tied his Gold Glove-winning teammate Matt Chapman for the highest on the team. However, last season was a down year for him, with a 0.2 dWAR. Murphy did have his best year throwing out base stealers. He threw out 31% of potential base stealers, a career-high and well above the 25% league average.

Who Is Atlanta Parting Ways With?

Milwaukee lands William Contreras, a younger player (24) that has shown offensive upside. He earned an All-Star selection last season, hitting 20 home runs and driving in 45 runs in 97 games. While Contreras possesses the bat, his defense lags behind. He has never posted a positive dWAR rating in his career, as he was a neutral 0.0 in 2022. He is another acquisition that the Brewers have made as they continue to retool the roster.

Pina is an older, more experienced option for a young Oakland pitching staff. After being signed by the Braves last offseason on a 3-year contract, he only played five games for the ballclub. In Oakland, the 35-year-old Pina will provide a veteran presence in the Athletics clubhouse, as they continue to acquire solid pieces for the lineup.

 

 

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