Braves acquire star catcher Sean Murphy from Athletics

ByJeff Passan ESPN logo
Tuesday, December 13, 2022

The Atlanta Braves acquired star catcher Sean Murphy in a three-way trade with the Oakland Athletics and Milwaukee Brewers that saw nine players switch teams, the organizations announced Monday.

Murphy, 28, was among the most prized players on the trade market this offseason, and Atlanta -- which dealt young catcher William Contreras to Milwaukee and still has veteran Travis d'Arnaud -- pounced to get him.

In addition to moving Contreras, the Braves are sending left-handed starter Kyle Muller, right-handed starter Freddy Tarnok, veteran catcherManny Pinaand minor league right-hander Royber Salinas to the A's. Also going to Milwaukee are right-handed relieversJoel Payamps (from Oakland) and Justin Yeager. The Brewers are sending outfielderEsteury Ruizto the A's.

"We definitely gave up a ton," Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said Monday. "But we got a really good player back. Getting players like that is hard."

The A's, who have made a habit of acquiring young pitchers and watching them blossom in their rotation, get two big-league ready arms in Muller and Tarnok, who both pitched for the Braves last season.

"I had a really nice conversation with Sean," Athletics general manager David Forst said. "He was not surprised he got traded but surprised to be hearing from me today and where the landing spot was."

Atlanta's pitching depth helped land Murphy, who hit .250/.332/.426 with 18 home runs and played Gold Glove-caliber defense last season. Murphy, who has three years until he gets to free agency, will reach arbitration for the first time this season and was moved in part because of the emergence of catcher Shea Langeliers, whom Oakland acquired earlier this year in the Matt Olson trade.

Contreras, 24, made the National League All-Star team as a designated hitter last year and concluded the season having hit .278 with 20 home runs and 45 RBIs.

"His bat is something that has the chance to be really special," Brewers president of baseball operations Matt Arnold said. "The fact that he hit 20 home runs as a young guy and was an All-Star last year at a very young age with a long tail of control is something that we feel really good about. We like the fact that he fits into our lineup immediately and hopefully he's a Brewer -- and a productive one -- for a very long time."

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