The Rockies have placed catcher Tom Murphy on waivers, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com. The club is hoping to find a trade partner for the out-of-options Murphy, per Harding. Regardless, it’ll enter the season with Chris Iannetta and Tony Wolters as its catchers.
A third-round pick of the Rockies in 2012 and a former top 100 prospect, Murphy hasn’t gotten much of a chance to establish himself in Colorado. While he did appear in the majors in each season from 2015-18, he didn’t reach the 100-plate appearance mark in any of those years. Murphy set a career high with 96 trips last season, but he limped to a .226/.250/.387 line with an absurd 44 strikeouts against three unintentional walks. In all, Murphy’s a .219/.271/.439 hitter with a 39.0 percent strikeout rate and a 6.2 percent walk rate in 210 major league PAs. Behind the plate, Murphy has thrown out 27 percent of would-be base stealers, right in line with the league average (28 percent), and earned slightly below-average overall grades from Baseball Prospectus.
It’s clear the 27-year-old Murphy hasn’t stood out in the majors, though he has shown off some power (10 home runs, .210 ISO) with the Rockies. He has also slashed an imposing .286/.335/.567 with 47 long balls in 875 PAs at the Triple-A level, and is coming off a spring in which he he hit .250/.323/.607 in 28 at-bats. Murphy’s offensive potential could help him latch on elsewhere, then, especially considering he’s still two years away from reaching arbitration.
The Rockies are turning back to Iannetta and Wolters, meanwhile, even though they made up a less-than-stellar duo for the lion’s share of last season. Iannetta’s the better hitter of the two, but he has typically struggled behind the plate. It’s the opposite for Wolters, a gifted defender whose lack of power has limited him to a .226/.322/.321 line in 712 major league PAs.