4 Cleveland Guardians trade targets from the Oakland Athletics
Similar to Laureano, Sean Murphy has several years of team control remaining until he becomes a free agent. The 27-year-old catcher became one of the better catchers in baseball in 2021 as well. His .710 OPS and 98 OPS+ does not necessarily reflect that, but his elite defense and overall solid bat are what make him a great catcher. The offense at the catcher position is not particularly high around the league. Despite that, in 182 career games, Murphy has hit 28 home runs, batted in 81 runs, and put together a .752 OPS and 109 OPS+. There is some offensive potential in his bat the Guardians could definitely utilize. Statistically, Murphy put up a .309 wOBA but an xWOBA of .335, which is much better and reflects the notion that there could be more in store with the bat for Murphy.
As it currently stands, Austin Hedges is the starting catcher. Hedges played 88 games in 2021 with an abysmal .527 OPS. Defensively, Murphy posted 10 DRS in 2021 and a framing rate of 9.7. He would simply be added to the list of outstanding defensive catchers Cleveland has had in recent years. It’s just that he would add so much more offensively than what the team has been receiving or would receive from Hedges in 2021. He is one of the top trade targets at catcher and the Guardians have the prospect capital to get the deal done.