The Atlanta Braves signed All-Star receiver Sean Murphy in a three-team trade involving the Oakland Athletics and Milwaukee Brewers.
Many pieces moved in this exchange, which ESPN first reported on. Here’s who landed where:
– Braves: Murphy, RHP prospect Freddy Tarnok.
– Athletics: C Manny Pina, OF Esteury Ruiz, LHP Kyle Muller.
– Brewers: C Williams Contreras, RHP Joel Payamps, RHP Justin Yeager.
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Murphy is the centerpiece here, as Atlanta reaches another deal with Oakland to recharge their already potent lineup. Last offseason, it was first baseman Matt Olson who went to the Braves, as they left behind Freddie Freeman, who has done well since he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Now they improve the receiver position with one of the best in the game. Defensively, he has 13 defensive runs saved behind the plate, which is a top-10 mark in MLB since 2020. He’s also an exceptional framer, with FanGraphs giving him a 19.5 rating with their metric, a top-three mark.
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Offensively, Murphy slashed .250/.332/.426 with a .759 OPS last season for the A’s with 18 home runs and 66 RBIs in 148 games. He has a .326 career on-base percentage and a .429 slugging percentage.
Murphy is also considered the last major piece to be moved in this massive rebuild by Billy Beane and the A’s, who also traded pitchers Chris Bassitt (New York Mets), Frankie Montas (New York Yankees), Sean Manaea (St. Diego Padres) and third baseman Matt Chapman (Toronto Blue Jays). His tough rebuild has been met with mixed reviews, but they’ve stuck to their process by loading up on prospects and hoping for a youthful resurgence in the coming years.
Taking Murphy’s place, for example, will likely be Shea Langeliers, who was sent in the Olson trade. He made his major league debut last season, hitting .218/.261/.430 with six home runs and 22 RBIs in 40 games.
There are also pitchers Ken Waldichuk and Luis Medina, who were acquired in the Montas deal at the Yankees’ 2022 MLB trade deadline, who could make an impact this season.
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As Oakland rebuilds, the Braves play in a very tough NL East that has seen some successful moves, such as Justin Verlander heading to the Mets among other massive deals from owner Steve Cohen, as well as the signing of superstar Trea Turner of the Philadelphia Phillies hoping to revisit this year’s World Series.
Atlanta has a solid lineup with Austin Riley, Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies and NL Rookie of the Year Michael Harris II along with Olson and Murphy.
For the Brewers, Contreras is a solid addition to their backup, as the 24-year-old was an All-Star in 2022. The brother of new St. Louis Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras, William broke out with a .278/ .354/.506 slash line with 20 home runs and 45 RBIs in 97 games for Atlanta last season.
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Now that he’s not sharing time with d’Arnaud, William Contreras should have more starts under his belt to show more of what he could do in the lineup.