Cleveland Guardians appear to be aggressively pursuing A's catcher Sean Murphy

Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

It's been said in these parts before that Sean Murphy is a nearly perfect trade target for the Cleveland Guardians. He's an above-average hitter with a career 114 OPS+ in four seasons, and a great defender (he won the Gold Glove in 2021) at a position of tremendous need (catcher), and the Oakland A's are certainly looking to move him.

The Guardians seem to feel the same way, because it has recently been reported that Cleveland is showing continued interest in Murphy this offseason. And with the Winter Meetings happening next week, things could really start heating up soon between Oakland and Murphy's many suitors.

By this point, it's old news that the Guardians have plenty of prospect firepower that could help them pull off a deal of this magnitude. Murphy, 28, isn't a free agent until 2026, which could put acquiring him at a steep price, but team control like that is exactly what the Guardians look for in a trade target.

It helps too that Murphy is one of the best offensive catchers in the game. With an OPS+ of 120 last season, Murphy slashed .250/.332/.426 with 18 home runs, 66 RBIs and 37 doubles. Like so many catchers around the game, Murphy has had his share of offensive slumps, but adding him to this lineup is an astronomical upgrade at what has been a sore point for years now. Plus, this gives the Guardians ample time to let top catching prospect Bo Naylor, 22, develop at a realistic pace.

Anything can happen, and another team could swoop in with a ridiculous offer, but the Guardians look like they're ready to do battle for Murphy's services. Cleveland just missed out on a three-year deal for first baseman José Abreu, who opted to sign with Houston, so it's clear the Guardians aren't messing around on the heels of their postseason berth.