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Cardinals, Braves Have Spoken To A’s About Sean Murphy

Cardinals, Braves Have Spoken To A's About Sean Murphy

A’s catcher Sean Murphy stands as one of the likeliest trade candidates of the offseason, and Oakland is unsurprisingly receiving a fairly wide array of interest in the former Gold Glover. The Cardinals have spoken to the A’s about Murphy, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. They’ve also spoken to the Blue Jays about their catching surplus (Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk, Gabriel Moreno), per the report.

Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that even the Braves — a team ostensibly set behind the plate — have checked in with the A’s about the potential asking price. Murphy has also been linked to the Guardians, White Sox, Rays and Red Sox since the offseason began, and there are assuredly others reaching out to the A’s to throw their hat into the mix.

The Cardinals stand as arguably the most obvious on-paper suitor for Murphy. Franchise icon Yadier Molina has formally retired after a 19-year career, and president of baseball operations John Mozeliak has been candid about his team’s interest in acquiring a new starting catcher. Backup Andrew Knizner is a .204/.292/.288 hitter in parts of four seasons and thus not likely to step into the starter’s role, and while the Cardinals have a promising young prospect in Ivan Herrera, they’re also a win-now club looking to make the most of the remaining prime years of MVP Paul Goldschmidt and third-place finisher Nolan Arenado.

Much of the same logic would apply to a Cardinals pursuit of a Toronto backstop. Jansen is the most heavily speculated target of the bunch, given that he’s “only” controllable for another two seasons, compared to four for Kirk and six for Moreno, but any catching-hungry team would have varying levels of interest in the whole trio. Goold notes that the Jays have been looking for a young, left-handed-hitting outfielder, which the Cards do possess in Lars Nootbaar and Alec Burleson. To this point, there’s no indication that talks with either Oakland or Toronto have meaningfully advanced.

Turning to the Braves and Murphy, it’s not as clean a fit, nor is it a surprise to see Rosenthal characterize the chances of an actual deal manifesting as “slim.” That said, it’s easy enough to see how Murphy, who’s projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn $3.5MM in his first arbitration season and is controlled through 2025, would still appeal to Atlanta.

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