New Colorado Rockies infielder Daniel Murphy was introduced to Rox Pile and other members of the media in a Friday afternoon conference call.
Calling himself “a purist” in wanting to continue to play in the National League, the 33-year-old Murphy will now bring his 10-year career, spanning stops with the New York Mets, Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs, to the Colorado Rockies. His contract is reportedly two years and $24 million, with an option for 2021.
"“I love National League baseball,” Murphy said. “The opportunity to play in Colorado was something that my family and I were ecstatic to have.”"
He will likely play first base for the Rockies, a position where he has seen action in 225 of his career 1,206 games. The prospect of playing first was exciting, Murphy said.
"“In speaking with Mr. Bridich (Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich) and also with Buddy (Colorado manager Bud Black), it seems the best fit for me is first base,” Murphy said. “I’m excited about it because I’ve done it before. Full disclosure, I’m probably a little more comfortable at first base than I am second base. I played there in New York (starting a career-high 97 games there in 2009). I’m excited to get to work.“My numbers probably bear out that I’m a better defender at first base,” he continued. “First base is going to be the place I can best impact this ball club in a positive way.”"
Bridich added that Murphy’s signing would likely cause a domino effect defensively for the Rockies. Ian Desmond, signed to be the team’s primary first baseman before the 2017 season began, will likely shift to the outfield. That could mean a spot in center field, pushing Charlie Blackmon to a corner spot.
"“We’ve had conversations with Ian dating back to the end of the season. Ian has been thinking about this at least potentially for months now,” Bridich said. “We’ve also had a conversation with Charlie Blackmon about a likely shift to a corner shift. I think Ian can play both left and center. Center field is definitely a consideration.”"
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A career .299 hitter, Murphy has posted a .330 average in 26 career games at Coors Field. He also watched from the Cubs dugout as the Rockies ended their season in the National League Wild Card Game.
The game made an impact on him with where the Rockies could head in the postseason.
"“Having played in the postseason the last four seasons, the main thing for my family and me was to identify a ball club that we thought had a legitimate and a real shot at winning the World Series,” Murphy said. “The Rockies came up at the top of that list when we started identifying clubs.”"
When asked about the rest of the offseason, Bridich hinted that he would keep his eyes open for potential fits but also mentioned the word “patient” as part of that plan.
"“We definitely are going to stay involved and invested in the offseason,” Bridich said. “It’s not like we’re going to shut things down.“Obviously we’re not going to be looking for a first baseman. Our attention will be elsewhere potentially. Probably be a little patient and see some of the things that happen and see if there’s a guy or two who might make sense and be an obvious fit on the club.”"