The Braves sign C Sean Murphy to a 6-year, $73 million contract

The Braves sign C Sean Murphy to a 6-year, $73 million contract

The Atlanta Braves a newly acquired signed receiver Sean Murphy to a six-year, $73 million contract that runs through the 2028 season, the team announced Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The deal includes a $15 million club option with no buyout for the 2029 season.
  • Murphy joined the Braves earlier this month in one three team trade with the Oakland A’s and Milwaukee Brewers.
  • Murphy, 28, was not only the A’s MVP overall in 2022 (3.5 WAR), but the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger finalist is one of the best catchers in all of baseball. He slashed .250/.332/.426 with 18 home runs and 66 RBI last season.

background history

The Braves already had three major league catchers, but they changed things up dramatically earlier this month by trading for one of the best catchers in baseball in Murphy. Atlanta waived the young All-Star Guillem Contreras and two of its best candidates Kyle Muller i Freddy Tarnokplus a veteran safety catcher Manny Pina and another minor league lefty.

Last season, Murphy led all AL catchers in hits (134), doubles (37), RBI (66) and total bases (229).

The Athleticinstant analysis of:

Another long-term commitment

By signing Murphy to a six-year contract shortly after trading the former Oakland All-Star, the Braves have locked up another member of their core group of players to extensions ranging from six to 10 years. All terms could be extremely favorable to the team if players stay relatively healthy and improve or, in some cases, such as the center fielder of the first two NL Rookie of the Year. Michael Harris II and pitcher Spencer Strider — are only made close to their current rate for most contracts.

Murphy joins this core with long-term contracts that include Harris, Strider, the star right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr.and field players Austin Riley, Ozzie Albies and Murphy’s former teammate Matt Olson. No one has a salary over $22 million in the guaranteed portion of their contracts. — O’Brien

Strong catching duo

Despite Murphy’s arrival, the Braves say they plan to keep the veteran All-Star catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who is owed $8 million in 2023 and also has an $8 million club option on his contract for 2024 with no buyout. The Braves value Arnaud both for his work on the field (play calling, pitching, power at the plate) and behind the scenes in game preparation and club leadership, and have indicated they would like him to do he remains with the organization beyond his playing years.

For now, the Braves should get plenty of value out of their combined $12 million outlay on d’Arnaud and Murphy in 2023, and would still owe their catching duo a relatively modest $17 million if they pick up the option Arnaud. in 2024, when Murphy’s salary increases to $9 million. With as much emphasis as the team places on its catchers and game preparation with catching coach Sal Fasano, the idea of ​​having Murphy and d’Arnaud around for the next few seasons has a lot of appeal for officials in the ‘team and for the Braves pitchers. — O’Brien

What’s left on the Braves’ to-do list

The Braves refused to offer a shortstop Dansby Swanson a contract even close to the one he got from the Chicago Cubsand so they lost a cornerstone type franchise player for the second straight offseason, then Freddie FreemanThe free agent departure of the previous spring. With the addition of Murphy, and the return of a healthy Acuña, who was slowed at times in 2022 by a sore knee in his first year after ACL surgery, and Albies, who missed a part of the season with a broken foot and a broken pinky. , the Braves believe their offense should be fine. Whether they’ll go with in-house options at shortstop: Young Vaughn Grissom he would presumably be favored in a spring position battle with veterans Orlando Arcia — Or trade for a more proven shortstop between now and Opening Day remains to be seen.

His only other major question mark is in left field, where Eddie Rosario returns after a disappointing season in 2022 when he missed time for laser eye surgery and never fully regained his form after returning, along with Marcel Ozuna, who has had two shutouts in two disappointing seasons since signing a long-term deal, but is still owed $37 million over the next two seasons, so will likely get another chance to prove he can still be a productive hitter. — O’Brien

Mandatory reading

(Photo: Kelley L Cox / USA Today)

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