Murphy one of few position players drawing heavy interest for Tribe
Last season the Cleveland Indians brought in David Murphy to be their primary right-fielder. The plan was for him to platoon against right-handed pitching with Ryan Raburn handling duties against left-handed pitching. For a time the move appeared to pay off, at least on the Murphy side. He hit very well at the start of the year and thru May batted .269/.366/.429 with 5 homeruns, 11 doubles, and 31 RBI in 52 games. However, things took a major turn in June as he hit just .185/.266/.235 in June with zero HR and just seven RBI. He actually didn’t’ play too bad after that but an injury in August limited his play. Not only did his bat disappear at times but his glove was even worse. His defensive runs “saved” was -16 in right-field, which ranked as the second worst among qualified right-fielders (Torii Hunter, -18 DRS).
Given his lackluster offensive year and abysmal defense, many felt the Indians would move on from David Murphy this winter, especially after they acquired Brandon Moss. However, given injuries to both Moss and Nick Swisher the Indians felt compelled to keep Murphy as insurance and so far it’s paid off. Murphy is batting .297/.345/.441 with five HR and a 121 wRC+.
Despite the very good offensive numbers, Murphy still has only managed to be worth 0.4 wins per Fangraphs and 0.6 wins per Baseball Reference. He’s been mostly getting time at DH, which has helped hide his glove, which still has been pretty bad (-1 DRS in just 234 innings in the OF). His poor defense and limited use versus left-handed pitching leaves Murphy as a player that the Indians can afford to trade, and should, despite the offense struggling as it is.
So if the Indians were to decide to trade David Murphy, which teams could be a fit? They could have a host or potential suitors…
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