David Murphy, the Indians’ regular right fielder this past season, was relegated to a bench role following the team’s acquisition of Brandon Moss in a trade with the Athletics last week. As a result, Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer expects the Indians to “work hard” to move Murphy.
Murphy, 33, will earn $6 million in 2015 and will become eligible for free agency after the season. Moss, on the other hand, is entering his third year of arbitration and won’t become a free agent until after the 2016 season.
Murphy had a solid season for the Indians, batting .262/.319/.385 with eight home runs and 58 RBI, but there’s no question about who provides more upside offensively. Despite a labrum injury which limited his second-half production, Moss was still able to belt 25 home runs.
Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.
That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.
Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.
It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.