Oakland Athletics: What’s on their post-lockout to-do list

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 22: General view of the Oakland Athletics logos in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at the Oakland Coliseum on July 22, 2018 in Oakland, California. The Oakland Athletics defeated the San Francisco Giants 6-5 in 10 innings. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 22: General view of the Oakland Athletics logos in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at the Oakland Coliseum on July 22, 2018 in Oakland, California. The Oakland Athletics defeated the San Francisco Giants 6-5 in 10 innings. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) /
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OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 25: Catcher Sean Murphy #12 of the Oakland Athletics looks on between innings against the Houston Astros at RingCentral Coliseum on September 25, 2021 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 25: Catcher Sean Murphy #12 of the Oakland Athletics looks on between innings against the Houston Astros at RingCentral Coliseum on September 25, 2021 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The Oakland Athletics should do what they can to keep Sean Murphy … for now

With no clear replacement to immediately replace Sean Murphy, the Oakland A’s should keep him around. At least until #1 prospect Tyler Soderstrom is ready to take over (should he stay at catcher). Austin Allen represents the only other catching option on the 40-man roster, with journeyman catcher-turned outfielder-turned pitcher-turned-catcher Christian Bethancourt available as depth at the club’s Triple-A affiliate.

While Sean Murphy may not be a superstar-level backstop, he should be used as a bridge to some of the prospects that Oakland has coming through their system. Overall, Murphy is not a bad catcher. On defense, he, like the previously mentioned Matt Olson and Matt Chapman, is ranked highly amongst fellow catchers, even earning his first career Gold Glove in 2021.

The 27-year-old’s offense is not quite there just yet. While he did hit 17 home runs last season, his .216 batting average and .306 OBP might not be able to cut it long-term. The right-handed-swinging Murphy was able to post just a .257 BABIP last season and a 99 wRC+, adding more statistics that he should look to improve on if he is to remain in Oakland.

As highlighted here, the Oakland A’s have dangled Sean Murphy in trade talks but are waiting on “the right offer”. Call to the Pen’s own Kevin Henry mentions that this may signal that Oakland is asking for more than is reasonable for a defensive-minded catcher like Murphy. The Oakland A’s would be best off holding on to Sean Murphy at least until top prospect Tyler Soderstrom is ready to take the reins.