Braves Rumors: Atlanta has shown interest in trading for Sean Murphy

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The best general managers in every sport, and Alex Anthopoulos is among the most outstanding in the business, leave no stone unturned. If you’re unfamiliar with what that might entail, this is a pristine example. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Braves have checked in with the Athletics regarding catcher Sean Murphy.

And finally, here’s an example of how thoroughly some clubs dig into the trade and free-agent markets: The Braves, with Travis d’Arnaud, William Contrerasand Manny Piña, possess one of the deepest catching corps in the majors. Yet according to major-league sources, they are one of the teams that has checked in on the Athletics’ coveted Sean Murphy — just in case.

This is a wild rumor considering the Braves already have three high-quality catchers on their roster. Both Travis d’Arnaud and William Contreras were All-Stars last season, and they still have Manny Piña, who missed almost all of last season after undergoing wrist surgery.

The Braves have a history with the Athletics, though, as they traded for Matt Olson less than a year ago to replace Freddie Freeman. Oakland is also amid a complete rebuild and looking to deal the remaining valued pieces of their roster.

Murphy finished the 2022 campaign with 3.5 WAR, hitting .250 with 18 homers in 148 games. I wouldn’t say he’s an upgrade over d’Arnaud or Contreras, but adding him gives the Braves some flexibility in the case that Dansby Swanson walks.

Piña is likely to be traded before the start of the season, and William Contreras could potentially fill the void the Braves currently have in left field. He also could be used as trade bait following an All-Star campaign. Including Contreras in any deal would almost assuredly land the Braves another star player in return.

I would be shocked if a trade for Sean Murphy actually came to fruition, but you can tell from this rumor that the Braves are evaluating absolutely all of the options available. The simplest way for this offseason to go would be for Atlanta to re-sign Dansby Swanson. But if he has indeed priced himself out of Atlanta, Anthopoulos is paving different directions the team could move.

Photo: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

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