The Angels informed reporters that infielder Daniel Murphy has again retired (relayed by Sam Blum of the Athletic). The three-time All-Star had been in Triple-A with Los Angeles after signing a minor league deal a couple months ago.
Murphy had been out of professional baseball for more than two years. He’d first announced his retirement in January 2021. The 38-year-old began a comeback attempt in March, signing with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League. After teeing off on independent ball pitching at a .331/.410/.451 clip, he got another affiliated look with the Halos.
The two-time Silver Slugger award winner played 38 games with the Angels’ top affiliate in Salt Lake. He hit .295 with a strong .379 on-base percentage, walking more often than he struck out. That’s no small feat for a player who’d only recently begun to face professional pitching, but Murphy only connected on one home run in 169 plate appearances in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
While Murphy’s comeback attempt didn’t get him back to the majors, he had a decent showing at the top minor league level. Of course, he had an excellent MLB run before his first retirement. A 12-year big league veteran, Murphy hit .296/.341/.455 with 138 homers in a little under 1500 career games. A high-contact but low-power second baseman early in his career with the Mets, Murphy had a barrage during the 2015 postseason. He homered in seven straight games and won NLCS MVP honors as New York played its way to the Fall Classic.
Murphy would lead the National League in slugging and OPS two years later, raking at a .347/.390/.595 clip in the first season of a three-year free agent contract with the Nationals. He earned his second All-Star nod and a runner-up finish in NL MVP balloting that season. Murphy made it back to the All-Star Game and some MVP ballots the following year, when he hit .322/.384/.543 with an NL-best 43 doubles.
The Jacksonville product had a quality 2018 campaign split between Washington and the Cubs. He inked a two-year, $24MM deal with the Rockies but didn’t make much of a power impact, hitting .269/.316/.429 in Denver to close out his MLB career. Best wishes to Murphy in his return to post-playing days.