The Cleveland Guardians should forget trading for Sean Murphy if it requires parting with major-league talent

Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics
Seattle Mariners v Oakland Athletics / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The Cleveland Guardians are likely very much still in the mix for Oakland Athletics catcher Sean Murphy, though there have been some rumblings that the A's are asking for a pretty hefty return.

It's not surprising considering the team acquiring Murphy will get his services for at least three guaranteed seasons. But If we're to believe the rumors that Oakland is looking for current major-league talent, that should be enough for the Guardians to simply move on.

One can't fault the A's for trying to maximize their return on Murphy. But Cleveland has an abundance of prospect capital to work with; it wouldn't be in their best interest as a win-now team to part ways with the talent currently on the roster. If Oakland is truly asking for someone like Steven Kwan or Andrés Giménez in a deal, they can go try to fleece another team. No matter how good a catcher Murphy is, it's just not worth it.

Now, if the A's were enamored with either Zach Plesac or Aaron Civale as rotation pieces as part of a larger deal that included highly-touted prospects, that's all well and good. But it's doubtful that including either of them moves the needle all that much. The A's want a big return for Murphy and it doesn't appear they want to wait years for that return to start paying dividends for them.

Perhaps it's all for the best anyway that Oakland is playing hardball with Murphy; the Guardians should be setting their sights on Bryan Reynolds, anyway. He's a player Cleveland has coveted for years and would do wonders for the outfield from both an offensive and defensive perspective.

Just imagine an offseason where the Guardians traded for Reynolds, signed Josh Bell, and maybe brought on a catcher like Christian Vázquez. That's about as good as it gets, and it doesn't require parting ways with the entire farm system in order to make it happen. The Guardians don't have to play into Oakland's hands here, and this front office is good at typically avoiding that when it comes to dealing with other teams.

Maybe Oakland's price will come down and they'll settle for a haul of prospects, but if not, Cleveland has plenty of other options before them.