The Twins are in agreement with right-hander Patrick Murphy on a minor league contract, reports Jon Heyman of the New York Post (on Twitter). Presumably, the 27-year-old will get a chance to compete for a big league job in Spring Training.
Murphy has suited up at the highest level in each of the past three seasons. Originally a third-round selection of the Blue Jays in 2013, he spent parts of eight years in the Toronto system. Murphy was generally regarded as a solid prospect, but he battled myriad injury concerns in the minors that delayed his push up the ladder. He finally reached the majors during the abbreviated 2020 season, working six innings of relief across four appearances.
Toronto shuttled him on and off the active roster for most of 2021, eventually designating him for assignment in August. He landed with the Nationals via waivers, making 17 appearances with Washington down the stretch. Murphy held his roster spot over the winter and pitched six more times this past April before the Nats took him off the 40-man roster. He went unclaimed this time around, spending the remainder of the year with Triple-A Rochester before electing minor league free agency at season’s end.
Over his three MLB seasons, Murphy has tallied 39 2/3 innings of 4.76 ERA ball. He has a below-average 20.3% strikeout rate and an elevated 10.7% walk percentage. He’s averaged north of 96 MPH on his fastball but hasn’t missed many bats at the big league level. Murphy did punch out a solid 26.1% of opponents with a lofty 50% grounder rate over 63 frames in Triple-A this year, although he still walked just under 12% of batters faced.
While Murphy has some experience as a starter in the minors, he’s worked primarily as a multi-inning reliever for the past three seasons. That’s the role he’s expected to play in Minnesota, where he’ll compete for a spot in Rocco Baldelli’s bullpen. He’s out of minor league option years, so if he does crack the MLB roster at any point, he’ll have to remain in the majors or again be designated for assignment.