The Atlanta Braves this week acquired C Sean Murphy from the Oakland Athletics as part of a three-team trade that included the Milwaukee Brewers. Atlanta traded LHP Kyle Muller, C Manny Piña, RHP Freddy Tarnok and RHP Royber Salinas to Oakland, while C William Contreras and RHP Justin Yeager headed to Milwaukee. Oakland also acquired OF Esteury Ruiz from Milwaukee, while the Brewers received RHP Joel Payamps from the A’s.
Murphy, 28, appeared in 148 games for the A’s last season, batting .250/.332/.426 with 18 home runs and 66 RBI. He led all American League primary catchers in hits (134), doubles (37), RBI (66), and total bases (229), and ranked second in home runs (18) and runs scored (67). He compiled a career-best 5.1 fWAR on the season, highest for a qualified catcher in the A.L. and trailing just J.T. Realmuto for most in the majors.
Murphy, who bats and throws right-handed, threw out 19 baserunners on the season, tied for fifth most in the majors, and his caught-stealing percentage of 31.1 was third best in baseball among catchers with as many attempts. He led American League backstops in games (116) and ranked second in assists (40). Murphy has thrown out 32 baserunners over the last two seasons, third most in the A.L.
Originally drafted by Oakland in the third round of the 2016 First-Year Player draft, Murphy debuted with the club in 2019 and has played all four of his major league seasons with the A’s. He is a career .236/.326/.429 batter over 330 games and won the A.L. Gold Glove award in 2021. A native of Peekskill, NY, he was tabbed by MLB.com as the No. 33 prospect in the minors entering the 2020 season, and the third-best catching prospect in baseball.
Contreras, 24, played his first full major league season in 2022 and batted .278/.354/.506 with 20 home runs and 45 RBI, and was named a starter for the N.L. All-Star team.
Piña, 35, is a .243/.313/.409 batter over nine major league seasons, and appeared in five games with Atlanta last year before a left wrist injury sidelined him for the remainder of the campaign.
Muller, 25, was ranked as Atlanta’s No. 1 prospect by MLB.com, and went 1-1 with an 8.03 ERA in three starts for Atlanta last season. In 23 games for Triple-A Gwinnett, he went 6-8 with a 3.41 ERA and was named an International League Post-Season All-Star.
Tarnok, 24, made his major league debut last season with the Braves, appearing in one game and pitching 0.2 scoreless innings. Atlanta’s No. 6 prospect per MLB.com, he went 4-3 with a 4.05 ERA over 25 games, 23 starts, between Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett.
Salinas, 21, was rated as Atlanta’s No. 18 prospect and pitched for Single-A Augusta and High-A Rome last season, while Yeager, 24, appeared in 49 games for Rome and Double-A Mississippi.
The Braves now have 36 players on the 40-man roster.