The Atlanta Braves made a big splash this offseason when they traded for Oakland A's catcher Sean Murphy. Buck Showalter recently commented on the acquisition and indicated that he was stung by the development.
Sean Murphy comes to the Braves with a stellar track record. The 28-year-old catcher was the prize piece in a three-team trade which included the A's, Braves, and the Brewers. In the trade, the Braves lost Kyle Muller, Freddy Tarnock, Manny Pina, Royber Salinas, and also sent breakout C/DH William Contreras to the Brewers.
Alex Anthopoulos acknowledged the Braves "gave up a ton" but he explained, "getting players like (Murphy) is hard." Murphy is under team control for three years and slashed .250/.332/.426 last season for the A's while playing elite defense.
Last season, among catchers with at least 300 plate appearances, Sean Murphy finished third in fWAR with 5.1. He finished sixth in wRC+ with 122, two spots ahead of Travis d'Arnaud who finished with a wRC+ of 120.
The Braves are absolutely stacked at catcher this season. The acquisition of Murphy allows d'Arnaud to help plug some potential holes at DH if Marcell Ozuna and Rosario continue to struggle in 2023.
Mets manager Buck Showalter has taken note of the talent in Atlanta. Buck was waxing poetically about how darn good the N.L. East is going to be in 2023 when he specifically mentioned and acknowledged the impact Sean Murphy will have.
He's probably just setting excuses up for the end of the season when they finish second in the division. He can always look back and say, "see, I told you Murphy was going to be a game-changer for the Braves."
Murphy finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting in 2020, won a Gold Glove Award in 2021, and even received MVP votes in 2022. The depth he is adding to the Braves may not be so obvious at a glance, but the dynamic duo behind the plate are two veterans who rank among the best in the league at the position.
Buck Showalter is right to be scared. The rest of the N.L. East should fear the Atlanta Braves in 2023. Catcher and DH are locked down and the two remaining holes might already have solutions. Read more about LF and SS in the following articles.