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Elephant Rumblings: Deconstructing the Sean Murphy trade

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San Diego Padres v Detroit Tigers Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!

Welp, the deal is done. Sean Murphy is now an Atlanta Brave, and the A’s received several players in exchange for Murph and pitcher Joel Payamps in a three-way transaction with the Braves and the Milwaukee Brewers. Per Baseball Trade Values, the A’s gave up a lot more than they got in return, and the general mood about the trade here at AN is somewhere between “fair to middling” and “apoplectic.”

And what of baseball’s intelligentsia? We now have postmortems from both Melissa Lockard and Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic.

Lockard refrains from editorializing on the trade’s merits, but notes that “external reviews ... have not been positive.” Her piece includes statements from general manager David Forst, who conceded that the business cycle-like building up and tearing down of the A’s roster is not the approach he’d prefer, but will continue until the team gets a new ballpark.

Both Lockard and Rosenthal agree that how this trade will eventually pan out for the A’s hinges largely on what kind of player Esteury Ruiz turns out to be. He was one of the A’s trade targets, prized for his athleticism, and the reason the Brewers ultimately had to be involved in the exchange with the Braves after negotiations on Murphy with the St. Louis Cardinals broke down.

Ruiz is a capable defender in the outfield and the infield, but Forst has tagged him primarily as a center fielder, which complicates matters for last season’s splashy prospect, Cristian Pache. This dynamic should make for an interesting Spring Training—as should the A’s considerably deep stack of pitching prospects.

Competition for rotation spots should be fierce this spring among top A’s prospects like Kyle Muller, Ken Waldichuk and J.P. Sears, an apparently healthy and resurgent A.J. Puk, and James Kaprielian, who is fresh off shoulder surgery but will purportedly be ready for action come Spring Training.

Anywho, I know you still have a lot of feelings left to vent about The Sean Murphy Trade. Here’s a fresh thread for you—carry on!

A’s Coverage:

MLB News & Interest:

Best of Twitter:

I’m pretty doggone sad to see Murph go.

The A’s shipped Murph out amidst a flurry of roster moves...

...and then there were two.

The newbs.

Not the most promising comps you could hope for.

Another minor league signing.

Pache at a crossroads.

Jace happy with his change of scenery.

Starters galore.

New acquisitions in the top 30 (with a bullet).


RIP Curt Simmons.