Former Ranger David Murphy signs for two years with option for third.
Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News reported last night that David Murphy has agreed to a two-year deal with the Cleveland Indians. At that time, the pact was expected to be in excess of $10MM. Early this morning, Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer tweeted that the deal is worth $12MM and included an option for a third year. A physical is pending.
Grant also states that a Murphy return was unlikely since the Texas Rangers were talking with agent Scott Boras in regards to Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo, as well as possibly bringing Nelson Cruz back to the club.
This signing now leaves the Tribe with five outfielders: Murphy, who’s expected to be the primary right fielder, Michael Brantley, Michael Bourn, Ryan Raburn and Drew Stubbs. The question: Will Cleveland carry five outfielders or does this make Stubbs a trade or non-tender candidate? Don’t forget that Nick Swisher can also play the outfield if need be.
That answer appears to have an answer as provided by Jordan Bastian of MLB.com who covers the Indians.
Stubbs’ offensive struggles, especially against right-handed pitching, combined with the fact that he is eligible for arbitration, make him a candidate to either be traded or non-tendered.
There has been some chatter that some interest in Stubbs existed. ESPN’s Buster Olney wrote (Insider article, subscription required) that multiple teams have asked the Indians about Stubbs. The Murphy deal opens that door a little more. A Stubbs trade might net the Tribe a bullpen arm, but Cleveland also needs to add starters if Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir decide to head elsewhere.