Free agent outfielder David Murphy had drawn interest from the Orioles, but Baltimore’s addition of Korean outfielder Hyun Soo Kim to their Opening Day roster closed the window on that potential fit for Murphy for the time being, WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford tweeted recently. According to Bradford, Murphy will return home in hopes of receiving a Major League offer and isn’t keen on playing in the minors at this point. Late in Spring Training, reports indicated that Murphy would consider retirement if he didn’t land on a big league roster, and this seems to align somewhat with that level of thinking. Murphy, 34, split the 2015 season between the Indians and Angels, batting a combined .283/.318/.421 with 10 homers in 391 trips to the plate. Though he’s long struggled against left-handed pitching, Murphy is a lifetime .278/.341/.454 against right-handed pitching and could fit as a part-time player for a club with a corner outfield need.
A few more notes on the sparse market for free agents…
- As James Loney waits out the process of formally clearing release waivers, he has his sights set on landing a big league opportunity in free agency, per ESPN’s Buster Olney (links to Twitter). However, in the event that no Major League offers materialize, the veteran first baseman is willing to head to Triple-A, according to Olney. However, if he does go that route, Olney adds that he would probably push for a clause that allowed him out of said minor league pact should a Major League opportunity materialize elsewhere. It’s also worth noting that MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweeted yesterday that Loney’s hometown Astros consider themselves set at first base and aren’t likely to pursue the Houston native. That tweet came prior to today’s game, during which Opening Day starter Tyler White was removed after being hit by a pitch on his right hand, but x-rays on the rookie came back negative. He’s considered day-to-day, so it seems unlikely that the incident would impact Houston’s thinking.
- Former Kansas City closer Greg Holland tells the Kansas City Star’s Rustin Dodd that he’s still rehabbing in Tempe, Ariz., and isn’t sure of his timeline to sign a new contract (Twitter link). The 30-year-old two-time All Star closer underwent Tommy John surgery late in the 2015 season and is unlikely to pitch this season.
- The Diamondbacks and Cardinals are potential fits for center fielder Michael Bourn, tweets Heyman. The 33-year-old Bourn was recently designated for assignment by Atlanta and could be had for the league minimum if he is ultimately released, as the Braves and Indians would be on the hook for the remainder of the veteran’s $14MM salary. (The Braves, of course, could try to find a taker in the meantime, although they were unsuccessful in that effort this winter.) The D-backs recently lost an elite center fielder to injury in the form of A.J. Pollock and have been linked to Bourn on multiple occasions since that news. St. Louis, meanwhile, is relying on a pair of largely inexperienced outfielders in Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty, and the Cards also recently placed backup Tommy Pham on the disabled list with an oblique injury.