Report: Guardians actively pursuing trade for A's Murphy
Murphy would be a massive upgrade behind the plate for the AL Central champions. Cleveland's catchers combined to post a 55 wRC+ in 2022, the worst mark in the American League and second-lowest in the majors. Murphy's bat would add even more punch to a potent lineup that already features MVP candidate Jose Ramirez, All-Star Andres Gimenez, and Rookie of the Year finalist Steven Kwan, among others.
The 28-year-old is a lifetime .236/.326/.429 hitter across parts of four seasons with the Athletics, and his 10.0 WAR since 2020 is better than every catcher except J.T. Realmuto, per FanGraphs. After winning a Gold Glove in 2021, Murphy produced a career-best offensive season for Oakland this past year, earning some down-ballot MVP votes for the first time.
Murphy is entering his first year of arbitration and won't become a free agent until after the 2025 season, which may make him particularly attractive to the cost-conscious Guardians. Murphy's $3.5-million projected salary in 2023, per MLB Trade Rumors, would make him only the fifth-highest paid player on Cleveland's roster.
The Tampa Bay Rays are also reportedly pursuing a trade for Murphy.