Earlier, we passed along the report that the Braves were going to be acquiring Sean Murphy from the Oakland Athletics. In terms of a straight up trade, the fit was a little strange especially if one of the Braves’ top two catchers, William Contreras and Travis d’Arnaud, weren’t heading out the door. In that report, we mentioned that Talkin’ Jake from Jomboy mentioned that a three team trade with the Braves, Brewers, and Oakland was in the works.
That report proved to be true as Jeff Passan reported that Manny Pina was headed to Oakland and William Contreras was headed to Milwaukee.
Oakland already acquired Shea Langeliers from the Braves last offseason, so they did not need another catcher (Shea already made Murphy more expendable). But the question became “why loop in the Brewers?” at all. One popular idea very quickly came that the Braves could also be able to nab Willy Adames from the Brewers and fill their need at shortstop.
As it turns out, no….Willy Adames is not coming over in the trade.
What this means for the Atlanta Braves 2023 roster?
Well, the Braves went from having Travis d’Arnaud, William Contreras, and Manny Pina at catcher to having TdA and Sean Murphy at catcher. Murphy is a defensive whiz with some tantalizing Statcast metrics and should be the Braves’ catcher for the foreseeable future.
The Braves had to part with some real prospect capital to get this done. In addition to losing the aforementioned Contreras and Pina, Freddy Tarnok and Kyle Muller are both high ceiling arms who saw time in the big leagues last year. However, both players have battled command issues in the past and if the Braves have an area of depth in their system, it is at starting pitcher.
The cost was steep, to be sure, but for getting this much team control for a catcher as valuable as Murphy, this is what it was going to cost. Now we have to wonder how the Braves are going to follow this move up.