Athletics' Sean Murphy traded to Braves as part of three-team blockbuster
A's trade Murphy to Braves as part of three-team blockbuster originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
For the second time this year, the Athletics and Atlanta Braves have made a significant trade.
The A's traded coveted catcher Sean Murphy to the Atlanta Braves as part of a three-team deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, the team announced Monday.
Oakland landed right-handed pitching prospects Freddy Tarnok and Royber Salinas, left-hander Kyle Muller and veteran catcher Manny Piña from Atlanta as well as Brewers outfield prospect Esteury Ruiz in the trade.
The A's also sent right-hander Joel Payamps to Milwaukee.
William Contreras, a 24-year-old catcher coming off his first All-Star campaign, is heading from Atlanta to Milwaukee, along with right-handed pitcher Justin Yeager.
Tarnok, listed as Atlanta's No. 6 overall prospect per MLB.com, logged a 4.05 ERA and 124 strikeouts in 106 2/3 innings last season between Double-A and Triple-A. He is a candidate to open spring training as part of the A's starting rotation along with Muller, a 25-year-old lefty who owns a 4.05 FIP in 12 career MLB appearances.
Salinas, a powerful 21-year-old strikeout threat, whiffed 175 batters in 109 innings between Low-A and High-A last season but struggled with control (63 walks).
The other intriguing youngster acquired by Oakland is Ruiz, ranked as the Brewers' eighth-best prospect by MLB.com and fifth-best by Baseball America.
Ruiz began his minor-league career as an infielder but has shifted to the outfield in recent years. The speedster made his big-league debut last season with the San Diego Padres before being sent to the Brewers as part of the Josh Hader blockbuster.
In 114 games split between Double-A and Triple-A last season, Ruiz swiped 85 bases, notched 33 doubles and a career-high 16 homers while batting .332/.447/.526 -- good for a .973 OPS.
None of those four players are included in Baseball America's list of the game's top-100 prospects.
Piña, a member of the Brewers for six seasons from 2016-21, appeared in five games with the Braves last season and collected two hits in 14 at-bats.
The A's will miss Murphy, a third-round pick by Oakland in 2016, who batted .236/.326/.429 with 46 home runs in 330 career games with Oakland. He finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting in 2020 and won a Gold Glove in 2021 for his work behind the dish. Murphy also was named a Gold Glove finalist in 2022.
In March, Oakland and Atlanta completed a trade for star first baseman Matt Olson. In return, the A’s acquired four prospects: catcher Shea Langeliers, outfielder Cristian Pache and right-handed pitchers Ryan Cusick and Joey Estes.
Ironically, Langeliers is the heir to Murphy’s throne as the A’s next catcher. The organization's depth at the position goes even deeper. Oakland's top prospect per MLB.com, Tyler Soderstrom, plays both catcher and first base.
The A's also selected catcher Daniel Susac out of the University of Arizona with the No. 19 overall pick of the 2022 MLB Draft.
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Murphy will join his former teammate Olson in Atlanta, where the first baseman batted .240/.325/.477 with 34 home runs while playing in all 162 games in his first season with the Braves.
Trading Murphy was the biggest box Oakland was expected to check this offseason. Now, the A's will head to spring training in February with a haul of new prospects with a chance to make an impact next summer.