SAN DIEGO — The St. Louis Cardinals landed their answer at catcher in Willson Contreras on Wednesday, but not reportedly without checking to see exactly how high the trade price might have been to acquire Sean Murphy from the Oakland A’s.
Rumors: Oakland A’s wanted too much from St. Louis Cardinals for catcher Sean Murphy
At least one MLB reporter connected to the A’s (Jessica Kleinschmidt, formerly with NBC Sports Bay Area) has tweeted that the trade ask from Oakland for Sean Murphy was “too expensive” for the St. Louis Cardinals. Kleinschmidt says there was “big interest” from St. Louis in Murphy, but the Cardinals apparently weren’t willing to part with whatever Oakland was demanding, causing a complete pivot to closing the Contreras deal.
Kleinschmidt did not say what the demands were from the A’s.
St. Louis reportedly signed Contreras, formerly with the rival Chicago Cubs, to a five-year, $87.5 million deal, solidifying the biggest area of need for the defending National League Central champions this offseason. Now it remains to be seen if the Houston Astros or another team will be willing to spend the cost that was deemed “too expensive” by the Cardinals.
The 28-year-old Murphy led the A’s in bWAR last season at 3.5 and is considered to be the biggest trade chip still available in Oakland, a franchise that has dealt off numerous pieces of its roster over the last year. It’s little surprise that Oakland is asking a high price for him, and it’s also little surprise that the A’s have said that they will keep Murphy on the roster if they don’t get a price that matches their needs.
If a team doesn’t match Oakland’s demands before the start of the 2023 season, look for Murphy to continue to be a hot name in trade talks all the way through next year’s MLB trade deadline.