Mark Feinsand of MLB.com published an article recently discussing which player on each of the 30 MLB teams who is a trade candidate.
Murphy, who will turn 35 at the beginning of next season, was, like a few other Rockies free agent signings, a bit of a head scratcher at the start due to his struggles defensively and him having to make first base his primary position, when second base was his primary before he came to Denver last offseason.
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The Rockies signed Murphy for 2 years and $24 million (with a team option for 2021). Coincidentally, the Rockies let their second baseman DJ LeMahieu go to the New York Yankees for the same cost (minus the option) and last week, LeMahieu came in fourth in the AL MVP voting after posting a 6.0 bWAR season, which topped his best season with the Rockies as his previous high-water mark was 5.3 in 2016.
LeMahieu also played 40 or more games at each first, second, and third base for the Yankees and combining to have 7 bDRS. LeMahieu also posted a 136 OPS+, which was also the best mark in his nine year MLB career.
Murphy, on the other hand, played to a 0.2 bWAR and spent the vast majority of his time (all but three games defensively) at first base. He actually did have decent defensive skills at first base with 2 DRS but that was still 7th among the 11 NL first basemen to play more than 850 innings at the position. Offensively, he had an OPS+ of 87, which was 49 points below LeMahieu’s.
Feinsand contends that Murphy would likely be traded to an American League team due to his age and his defense.
Considering that he doesn’t have a long-term contract, it makes the possibility of trading him a wash since his potential teams would be narrowed down significantly if he were to go to the AL.