David Murphy Rumors

Rangers, Murphy Have Talked Long-Term Deal

The Rangers have had discussions with Mike Moye, the agent for David Murphy, assistant general manager Thad Levine tells MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. Murphy agreed to a one-year deal worth $5.775MM earlier today, avoiding arbitration for the final time before hitting free agency. According to Levine, the team preferred to "get through [arbitration] first and then continue that dialogue later."

"Later" could mean Spring Training, writes Sullivan. As he points out, the Rangers have hammered out significant extensions for both Derek Holland and Ian Kinsler during Spring Training in recent years. That line of thinking also allows the Rangers to have a better sense of their long-term outfield picture. As it stands, the team is still interested in both Justin Upton and Michael Bourn. Acquiring either could impact potential extension talks for Murphy.

According to Sullivan, the team is also interested in discussing a long-term deal for Nelson Cruz, but no talks have taken place as of yet. Those, much like talks with Murphy, are likely to occur during Spring Training. Cruz signed a two-year, $16MM contract with the Rangers last offseason that bought out his final two years of arbitration. The 32-year-old is eligible to become a free agent following the 2013 season.

Rangers, David Murphy Avoid Arbitration

The Rangers and David Murphy have avoided arbitration with a one-year contract, the team announced. It's a one-year, $5.775MM contract, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports (on Twitter). Moye Sports Associates represents the 31-year-old outfielder.

Murphy had filed for $6.5MM and the Rangers had countered at $5.05MM, as MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows. The sides settled at the midpoint, avoiding a potential hearing. This is Murphy's final time through the arbitration process; he's eligible for free agency following the 2013 season. All arbitration eligible Rangers now have contracts for 2013, the team confirmed.

Arbitration Filing Numbers

Many players will avoid arbitration today, and dozens of others exchanged figures with their teams in anticipation of hearings. Most cases won't go to arbitration hearings, but teams such as the Rays, Marlins, Blue Jays and Braves are known for their 'file and trial' policies. For players on those teams this marks the last chance at negotiations before a hearing.

MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker will keep you up to date on every one of the filing numbers from around the game, but here are the highlights — players who filed for $4MM or more. Now for the details…

West Notes: Cespedes, Cain, Beras, Murphy, Villalona

On this day in 2009, the Dodgers agreed to re-sign Manny Ramirez to a two-year, $45MM contract.  Ramirez's time in Los Angeles came to an end in August of 2010 when he was claimed off of waivers by the White Sox.  As a Dodger, the slugger hit .322/.433/.580 with 44 homers in 223 games.  Here's a look at some items out of the AL and NL West..

  • Yoenis Cespedes was warmly welcomed by Manny, writes Yahoo's Steve Henson. Ramirez discussed hitting extensively with his new friend, and ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that Cespedes says it's an "honor" to play with Ramirez. (Twitter link). 
  • There was a belief around baseball that Matt Cain was going to be an easy sign for the Giants, but that now seems less certain, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  Word was that the hurler might even be prepared to sign back with the Giants for less than $100MM but that seems far less likely.
  • If the league upholds Jairo Beras' contract with the Rangers, sources with several teams have said that they will be furious, writes Ben Badler of Baseball America.  MLB has granted some players leniency in the past if they willingly came forward with a new age or a new identity, but that does not appear to be the case in this situation.
  • Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels says that multiple teams have inquired on David Murphy, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.  Even though Murphy is slated to come off of the bench, Daniels says that the outfielder is a huge part of the club.  The Twins inquired on Murphy back in December but Texas was unwilling to compromise their outfield depth.
  • Angel Villalona's name plate has been removed from his locker and that's a sign that his visa issue isn't close to being resolved, tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com.  The Giants first baseman is facing legal trouble in his native Dominican Republic.
  • The Athletics formally introduced Cespedes today and the outfielder said that Miguel Tejada told him that Oakland was a good organization to grow up in, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Tuesday

Dozens of arbitration eligible players have agreed to deals with their respective teams today and we've been tracking all of the developments right here.  Several teams, including the Rays, Nationals, Marlins, White Sox, Blue Jays, Braves, and perhaps Astros, are known for committing to going to hearings if they get to the point of filing.  Keep track of all the madness with MLBTR's arbitration tracker, which shows settlement amounts, filing figures, and midpoints.  Today's players to avoid arbitration on deals worth less than $4MM:


Twins Inquired On David Murphy

The Twins inquired on Rangers outfielder David Murphy, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark.  However, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Rangers are reluctant to compromise their outfield depth.  

Murphy, 30, hit .275/.328/.401 in 440 plate appearances this year while playing all three outfield positions.  Murphy is arbitration eligible for the second time this winter and MLBTR projects a $3.2MM salary for 2012.

Rangers Notes: Trades, Kazmir, Murphy

We heard multiple times over the weekend that the Rangers are interested in some of the best available relievers. Texas GM Jon Daniels joined Galloway & Co. on 103.3 ESPN in Dallas (audio here) and though he declined to comment on specific players, he did provide insight into the Rangers' deadline plans…

  • Daniels doesn't believe many 'impact' players will be available in trades this summer.
  • Though the Rangers are optimistic about what Darren O'Day and Tommy Hunter can do in relief, "the bullpen's our focus point right now," Daniels said.
  • However, if a true number one starter becomes available, as Cliff Lee did last year, the Rangers will check in and consider making an offer.
  • Texas is willing to spend, though Daniels says he doesn't want to be "flippant" about finances.
  • The Rangers decided to pass on signing Scott Kazmir, since they didn't expect the left-hander to be able to help the Major League team this season.
  • The Rangers would almost certainly consider moving David Murphy in a trade for a quality reliever, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.

West Notes: Murphy, D’Backs

The surging Diamondbacks are a hot topic these days. Here's more on the Snakes and an item of note about another ballclub residing in a west division.

  • Rangers outfielder David Murphy could be a hot trade commodity, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. This season has been an historically weak one with respect to production out of left fielders, writes Sullivan, and Murphy, Texas' fourth outfielder, is a solid hitter and pretty cheap. I could see this, but Murphy struggles against lefties (.257/.299/.363 career line), and it couldn't hurt for the Rangers to keep him around as insurance for the often-injured Josh Hamilton.
  • The D'Backs' success in 2011 can be chalked up to organizational stability, hard work, and a few shrewd offseason moves, writes Tracy Ringolsby of FOXSports.com. After its bullpen posted a 5.74 ERA and 24 blown saves in 2010, Arizona added J.J. Putz via free agency, David Hernandez via trade and Joe Paterson through the Rule 5 Draft, and the D'Backs are now 13-7 in one-run decisions, notes Ringolsby. Twelve players currently on the 25-man roster were brought on by GM Kevin Towers, who Ringolsby says isn't trying to reinvent the proverbial wheel.

Rangers, Murphy Avoid Arbitration

The Rangers signed outfielder David Murphy to a one-year contract worth $2.4MM, avoiding arbitration, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com (via Twitter). 

Murphy appeared in 138 games with Texas in 2010, primarily in left and right fields. The left-handed hitter posted a solid offensive season (.291/.358/.449 in 467 plate appearances) and was especially tough on right-handed pitchers (.298/.368/.479).

Scanning MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker, the Rangers now have four arbitration-eligible players remaining: Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton, C.J. Wilson and Darren O'Day. Reliever Mark Lowe, acquired midseason from the Mariners in the Cliff Lee swap, avoided arbitration in November. As well, free-agent reliever Frank Francisco accepted the Rangers' offer of arbitration.

Odds & Ends: Cordero, Murphy, Red Sox, Griffey

Links for Thursday, as Armando Galarraga receives a new Corvette (but no perfect game)…

  • Reliever Chad Cordero has been called up to the Mariners roster, according to a team news release.  Cordero hasn't pitched in the majors since undergoing labrum surgery in July 2008.  He signed a minor league deal with Seattle last winter and has a 4.12 ERA and 5.50 K-BB ratio in 17 appearances for Triple-A Tacoma this season.  In six seasons with the Expos/Nationals organization, Cordero posted a 2.78 ERA and racked up 128 saves, including a league-best 47 in 2005.
  • 2009 first rounder Jared Mitchell told reporters that he is recovering well from his ankle injury. The White Sox prospect, who will represent the team at this year's draft, does underwater drills and is progressing towards baseball activities.
  • Daniel Murphy will miss four to six months with an MCL tear, so the Mets have reduced infield depth, according to Newsday's David Lennon (via Twitter). Murphy, who has not played in the majors this year, has missed significant time because of his right knee.
  • MLB.com's Ian Browne wonders if the Red Sox will have to trade Boof Bonser.
  • The A's claimed Triple A infielder Adam Heether off of waivers from the Brewers, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (via Twitter). Heether, 28, was hitting .245/.343/.440 in Nashville.
  • J.D. Drew and Jason Varitek told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that agent Scott Boras does not pressure them to return from injuries any earlier or later than they want to. Boras says he does not draw medical conclusions for any of his clients, including Jacoby Ellsbury.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wonders if Ken Griffey Jr. felt pressure from Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu to retire. Wakamatsu says it was "Ken's decision."
  • Stephen Strasburg, who debuts against the Pirates next week, pitched five shutout innings at Triple A and even got a hit, writes MASN.com's Ben Goessling.
  • Strasburg's a star now, but college coach Tony Gwynn says the phenom was "sweating like a hostage" before his San Diego State debut, according to Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse. The entire piece is worth reading.