4:42pm: Murphy exercised an opt-out clause and has already formally been released, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger tweets. His future intentions remain unclear.
3:42pm: Outfielder David Murphy has requested his release from the Twins, according to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press (via Twitter). He has already left the club’s Triple-A affiliate, Rochester, to return to his home.
Murphy, who spent camp with the Red Sox and joined Minnesota on a minor league deal, reportedly has an opt-out date of May 1st built into his contract. Obviously, we’re not there yet, but it seems that he could be considering retirement rather than seeking an opportunity with another club.
The Twins could conceivably have used him at the major league level, with Byron Buxton and Max Kepler both going down to Triple-A. But he’d have required a 40-man spot, and if he wasn’t the choice, the move would’ve put a big dent in his playing time at Rochester.
Murphy is off to a slow start, hitting .194/.256/.306 over 39 plate appearances at the Triple-A level in his first taste of the minors since 2007. The 34-year-old had long been a sturdy option against right-handed pitching, but hasn’t met with much interest since reaching the open market this winter.