The Colorado Rockies could target an old friend: Seattle Mariners catcher Tom Murphy
For the Colorado Rockies fans that are “Tom Murphy guys” out there, this would be a welcome a return. Murphy, who turns 31 in April, has been with the Seattle Mariners since 2019 and he has been much better with the Mariners than he was at the end of his time with the Rockies.
In parts of four seasons with the Rockies at the major league level (81 games), Murphy only hit .219/.271/.439 with an OPS+ of 75 and a 0.2 fWAR. Since joining the Mariners, in two seasons (he didn’t play in 2020 due to injury), he has hit .236/.313/.439 with an OPS+ of 106 in 172 games.
His 2019 season was much better than his 2021 season but still, for a backup catcher, Murphy’s 2021 would be an improvement for them at the position.
- 2019: 75 games, 18 homers, 40 RBI, .273/.324/.535, 128 OPS+, 7 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS), 4 Runs Extra Strikes (RES) 3.2 rWAR
- 2021: 97 games, 11 homers, 34 RBI, .202/.304/.350, 84 OPS+, 1 DRS, -1 RES, 0.9 rWAR
In other words, he was above league average with the offense, defense, and pitch framing (RES) in 2019 but was at or below league average in all areas besides defense with the 1 DRS.
Murphy is arbitration-eligible for the second time this offseason and he is projected to get about $1.7 million in arbitration so he could be a fairly cheap option for the Rockies for both a return in a trade and a montearily.
Seattle may look to trade him since they have pre-arbitration eligible Luis Torrens (102 OPS+ in 108 games last season) and Mariners former #8 prospect entering 2020, Cal Raleigh, as catchers on their 40-man roster as well.