A's GM anticipates heavy Murphy trade interest from other teams originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The A’s enviable catcher depth could mean interesting things for Sean Murphy.
A’s general manager David Forst admitted Tuesday that “there’s no shortage of interest” in Murphy, per the San Francisco Chronicle, and anticipates teams will continue to call about potentially trading for the slugging backstop this offseason.
“To be honest, there’ll be lots of conversation about Sean this offseason, just because he’s a terrific player at an important position,” Forst said at the MLB GM meetings in Las Vegas.
“Sean is a player that any organization would want behind the plate in the big leagues,” Forst added, per MLB.com. “He’s obviously a popular topic of discussion when I talk to other clubs. But that was the case last offseason and at the [trade] deadline. He still remains an A, and we’ll see where the offseason goes.”
Where it goes could depend on what package a team is willing to offer for a catcher with a sparkling résumé. Murphy, 28, is under team control through 2025, won a Gold Glove last year and is a finalist again this year, and led the AL with 116 games played as catcher. He also posted back-to-back seasons with double-digit homers (17 in 2021 and 18 in 2022) and is a Silver Slugger finalist this year.
That all makes Murphy valuable at a premium position, and the talented youth behind him could make him a trade chip. The A’s acquired Shea Langeliers, 24, from the Braves in last year’s Matt Olson trade, and he hit six homers in a 40-game run in Oakland late in the season. Behind Langeliers in the minor leagues are heavily regarded Tyler Soderstrom, the A’s No. 1-ranked prospect, and Daniel Susac, their No. 4 prospect and last year’s first-round draft pick.
Dealing from a position of strength could help Oakland fill numerous other needs after a 102-loss season, but Forst isn’t ruling out a Murphy-Langeliers catching duo next season.
“I think the two showed they could co-exist the last two months of the year, which was big for us,” Forst said, per MLB.com. “It’s obviously a position of strength in the organization. Not just those two guys, but Soderstrom, [Kyle] McCann and Susac all the way down. For whatever reason, catching has been an area we’ve done well at.”
Good catchers are hard to come by, and luckily for the A’s, they have more than one. How they potentially turn that into strength at other positions will be an intriguing offseason storyline.