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.
Really? Cards interested? They won’t do it, they like their current team too much to go outside of it and find an improvement
Surprised the Braves have not found a suitor for Bourn. Granted I know, if granted his release the team picking him up only pays minimum, but for minimum there will be a few teams after him.
Interesting seeing the Cards mentioned as they rarely take a trade of such. Would think a prospect sprinkled in would entice someone.
This article makes it sound as though the Cardinals would actually consider signing Bourne and displace one of Grichuk or Piscotty…which is absolutely insane and furthermore has a ZERO percent chance of coming to fruition. If for some reason they sign Bourne, he would be a bench player at best. The Cards are SUPER HIGH on both of those guys, and for good reason. They are both above average MLB level players with fairly high ceilings…there is no way in heck that either of them lose significant at bats to Michael Bourne. Being a Pirates fan, I get the privilege of getting to see Randal and Stephen play quite a bit, and the Cards have two pretty darn good young Outfielders on there hands, and I’m fairly darn sure that the Cardinal fan base would flip there crap if they gave away a considerable number of their at bats away to a declining veteran.
Just my two cents.
While I agree, I think the article, at least in my perspective was mentioning more towards veteran presence spell ABs get competition going since Pham is out. I am a Braves fan and live in Cardinal country, fans love those two kids yes, but wins help.
Just the way I saw it.
I could see the Cardinals taking a flier on Murphy before Bourn, especially since it looks like Pham may be out a little longer and Holliday can play 1B.
lou brock has a better chance of signing a player contract with st louis than michael bourn.