Indians to sign David Murphy, team finalizing two year deal
Veteran free agent outfielder to platoon in Tribe outfield
CLEVELAND--The hot stove season has officially begun for the Tribe.
Late Tuesday night, sources confirmed the Indians and free agent outfielder David Murphy are finalizing a two year, $12 million deal, which includes a club option for a third year. Murphy, 32, played in 142 games this past season with the Texas Rangers, hitting .220 with 13 homers and 45 RBI.
A career .275 hitter, the left-handed hitting Murphy has averaged at least 14 home runs and 58 RBI over the last six seasons in Texas. He posted his best offensive numbers in 2012 when he hit .301 with 16 homers and 61 RBI in 147 games with the Rangers.
Murphy is expected to platoon in the Cleveland outfield with Ryan Raburn, mainly against right handers, where he is a career .280 hitter. The Indians also like what Murphy brings defensively, committing just two errors in 2013 owning a .990 career fielding percentage. He also brings with him postseason experience, having played in the 2011 World Series and in 27 career playoff games.
Tribe manager Terry Francona and Murphy also have a history, as the outfielder played under the skipper in Boston in 2006 and 2007. With five outfielders on the active roster, right fielder Drew Stubbs may be the odd man out of the bunch as he is arbitration elgible. With the addition of Murphy, it appears more likely that the Indians may trade or non-tender Stubbs before the December 2 deadline.
The deal is pending a physical which Murphy will take in Cleveland on Thursday, though it is not yet official from the team.
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So he was a bit on the "lucky" side in 2012. That said, .333 isn't that crazy when your career mark is .302. Even if Murphy only as a season like his 2010 year, still worth $6-7M a year and a solid add.
The signing is good because it gives us options. It gives up depth and gives Tito plenty of talent to form a starting 9. If a deal for a BP arm opens up great. If not no reason to make moves just to give the blogs something to write about.
If he can get a relief pitcher with an arm like Gomes, I'm down with that.
Tony, great point on the BABIP. It looks like he was ridiculously lucky two years ago and just as ridiculously unlucky last year, resulting in an 84 point drop in BA. Usually that happens the year a player joins the Tribe, not the year before.
I could see his BABIP returning to normal along with his BA and OPS next year.
Still, a nearly 60 point drop from his career batting average last year at age 31 is a little scary. Hope he doesn't pull a Mark Reynolds or a Dave Dellucci on us.
Murphy definitely rakes at Progressive, though. He has a career .469/1.309 line here, which is insane. But now that he's here he won't have the Tribe's staff to hit against.
He just turned 32 and his best days may well be behind him, if last year was any indication.
Trading players of Stubbs ilk seems to be Antonetti's specialty. Let's see if he can pull off a bullpen arm with some years of control left and maybe some sort of blocked semi-prospect (ala Yan Gomes last year).
You and I were just talking about him on twitter earlier in the day too. I think he's a very solid signing. I need to see what else they do this offseason though. IMO, they need a closer, reliable lefty(Manny Parra) and to resign Kazmir.
Alot of these FA's are going to realize that they're going to have to take smaller deals because the money just isn't there for the vast majority of these teams out side of NYY, LAA and a couple of others.
I think the Indians are banking on Aguiliar giving them some production this season too. I have no problem with that either. I'm all for building up and using the farm system to supplement the team