From Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News comes word the the Indians have reached agreement on a two-year contract with free agent outfielder David Murphy. It’s expected to be worth more than $10 million, though no exact figure has been released.
Murphy posted a career-worst .656 OPS in 2013, but the left-handed hitter had a .304/.380/.479 slash line in 2012 and fits nicely into an outfield platoon with the right-handed-hitting Ryan Raburn in Cleveland.
Murphy spent seven years with the Texas Rangers, batting .275/.337/.440 with 85 home runs and 362 RBI in 826 games. He was a first-round pick of the Red Sox (at No. 17 overall) in the 2003 MLB Amateur Draft.
The 32-year-old could prove to be a nice pickup in a market of massive deals.
Cleveland will likely either trade or non-tender the now-expendable Drew Stubbs.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.