Sean Murphy’s name continuously popped up in trade rumors until the final hours before the 2022 Trade Deadline. Now that the World Series has ended and the Hot Stove begins to sizzle, expect more rumors to prominently feature the A’s catcher.
A’s general manager David Forst was among the executives from all 30 clubs who convened on Tuesday at the Conrad at Resorts World in Las Vegas for MLB’s General Managers Meetings. Sure enough, as reports surfaced from Day 1 of the three-day event, Murphy’s name was right in the mix of potential trade candidates this offseason.
“Sean is a player that any organization would want behind the plate in the big leagues,” Forst said. “He’s obviously a popular topic of discussion when I talk to other clubs. But that was the case last offseason and at the Deadline. He still remains an A, and we’ll see where the offseason goes.”
Part of the reasoning behind Murphy being expendable — despite being under team control through the 2025 season — stems from Oakland’s strong catching depth throughout the system. It starts at the big league level with Shea Langeliers, who graduated from top prospect status as he flashed his many tools with the A’s this season as Murphy’s backup.
Further down the organization are other promising catchers such as No. 1 prospect Tyler Soderstrom and No. 4 prospect Daniel Susac, Oakland’s first-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft.
While Murphy, who finished the 2022 season as a finalist for the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards, could likely bring the A’s a haul of prospects who could aid their rebuilding phase, there is also a value to keeping the catcher around to further provide guidance for Langeliers. The two backstops could also combine to give Oakland one of the better catching duos in the league.
“I think the two showed they could coexist the last two months of the year, which was big for us,” Forst said of Murphy and Langeliers. “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.”
When it comes to a possible Murphy trade, or any free agent/trade discussions, Forst said there is a sense of relief in knowing that this offseason will operate a bit more normal. Due to last year’s lockout that ultimately ended on March 10, when the transaction window reopened, the A’s found themselves in a frenzy with little time to construct an ideal roster before Opening Day.
“We’ve had time to plan in October and spent a lot of time having internal conversations,” Forst said. “We’re hoping to have a normal offseason when it comes to free agent and trade conversations to really build the roster over the course of the next few months.”
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