Sean Murphy happy to survive MLB trade deadline, powers Athletics to win

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Happy to survive trade deadline, Murphy powers A's to win originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

As the Athletics approached the 2022 MLB trade deadline on Tuesday, starting pitcher Frankie Montas was the one player who was certain to be dealt and he ultimately was sent to the New York Yankees for four prospects.

Oakland had another player in catcher Sean Murphy, who was drawing interest from teams, but wasn't going anywhere unless general manager David Forst and the front office was "overwhelmed" by an offer.

That offer never came and Murphy remained with the A's as the deadline came and went, much to his delight.

A day later, Murphy provided most of the offense in the A's 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night at Angel Stadium. The 27-year-old drove in Ramón Laureano with a single in the fourth to get the scoring started and then he gave Oakland the lead for good with a two-run homer in the sixth.

"This is the organization that drafted me, gave me opportunities to play and I love being an A," Murphy told Brodie Brazil and Dave Stewart on "A's Postgame Live" after the win. "Of course I understand the business of it but I'm so happy to be an A, happy to be here and we're building with these guys and building something good and we're playing better baseball. So it is a compliment to want to be traded or to be on the block, whatever you want to call it, but I'm just so happy to be here."

With Matt Olson, Matt Chapman and Mark Canha gone from the lineup of years past, Murphy lost his protection in the batting order, leading to a slow start to the 2022 MLB season. But since the calendar turned to June, he has hit the way the A's expect him to.

Prior to June, Murphy slashed .201/.281/.379 with five homers and 22 RBI in 48 games. But since then, he's hitting .290 with eight homers and 22 RBI in 46 games.

"Murph has been doing a great job offensively the last two months," A's manager Mark Kotsay told reporters in Anaheim. "Really put together some great at-bats. Tonight he basically was a one-man wrecking show, him and Laureano."

In addition to providing most of the offense, Murphy also helped guide starter James Kaprielian to his third win of the season.

In 5 1/3 innings pitched Wednesday, Kaprielian allowed six hits, one earned run and walked just one Angels batter while striking out four. And all the credit went his backstop.

"Murph's been pivotal for us all year," Kaprielian told reporters. "His bat is really coming along. He does a tremendous job behind the plate. We're continuing to learn what we kind of expect out of each other every single start we get together, on the defensive side. And then on the offense, he obviously picked us up big time tonight and it's impressive when it comes off his bat, so you love to see that."

RELATED: Forst explains why Montas trade "made sense" for A's

While the A's didn't trade Murphy this week, that might change in the offseason when more teams might be looking for a catcher. Plus Oakland also has top prospect Shea Langeliers waiting in the wings at Triple-A Las Vegas.

But Murphy hasn't even reached arbitration yet, so the A's have several more years of contractual control over him. If they deal him this winter, they surely will get a solid return for him. If they hold on to him and he remains the starting catcher in 2023, he definitely won't be upset.