Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Could Murphy Stay with Cleveland?
Another potential option is Murphy staying with the Cleveland Indians for the whole year. The Indians are coming off a horrible series versus the Chicago White Sox but the gap between them and a playoff spot still doesn’t seem completely insurmountable. Murphy does still provide the Indians with a solid left-handed bat and considering their struggles versus right-handed pitching it makes some sense to hold on to him. The Indians also could eye 2016 and decide that Murphy’s $7M option may not be too bad an investment and plan on using him in a similar role again. Perhaps the Indians will find a way to move Michael Bourn and/or Nick Swisher between now and Opening Day 2016 opening up even more playing time for Murphy.
That said, the Indians would likely still be better off moving on from Murphy. Lonnie Chisenhall will be out of options next year and could fill a similar role to what Murphy would. Then there’s of course guys like Tyler Naquin, James Ramsey, and Zach Walters who all could provide similar value to Murphy (if not vastly more). So while it would be a very big surprise if the Indians kept Murphy for 2016, I don’t think it’s a complete longshot that he doesn’t stick with the club through the end of the season. Terry Francona does love his veterans even though we’ve seen Murphy start to struggle in July (hitting just .182/.255/.250 this month).
Next: What Can the Indians Get?