braves tonight announced they extended the catcher Sean Murphy A six-year, $73 million deal. The deal includes his $15 million club option for 2029, not including a buyout. As part of the deal, Murphy will get his $4 million in 2023, his $9 million in 2024 and his $15 million in 2025-28. Also, he donates 1% of his salary to the Atlanta Braves Foundation. Atlanta only acquired a Raleigh Sports Management client earlier this month to headline a three-team trade that includes the Brewers and Athletics. The deal would buy out his remaining three years of club management, and potentially four years of free agency, as Murphy was eligible for first-year arbitration heading into 2023.
The move continues Atlanta’s recent trend of expanding its core of starting players, with Murphy joining Austin Riley, Matt Olson, Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzy Albies, spencer strider When Michael Harris As a player on the current roster who received a lengthy extension while under the club’s control. That group of players is now under Atlanta’s control through 2027, but only Acuna Jr. and Albies have contracts that expire through 2029.
Murphy, 28, has established himself as one of the best catchers in all of baseball in his recent season in Oakland. At bat, he has hit his 46th home run and recorded a combined .236/.326/.429 his line in his four seasons in the majors. This puts him at 116, which is good for a wRC+, and he’s 16% better than the league’s average hitter. 250/.332/.
On defense, he has scored 12 defensive runs since 2020, ranking in the top 10 overall in the league. Fangraphs’ framing his metric ranks him as his third best pitch framer in the sport during the same period. The combination of strong defense and above-average offense equates to a career of 10.6 fWAR, and 2022 accounts for his 5.1 on that tally.
Murphy’s form, Oakland’s rebuilding and a thin free-agent market for catchers have made him one of the most talked about trade chips in the sport going into the offseason. Nine teams connected with him in the weeks leading up to.It was also a good old blockbuster, as the Braves sent Loiber Salinas, Manny Pina, Kyle Muller When Freddie Turnnock to Auckland, and William Contreras When Justin Yeager to the Brewers to complete the deal.
The game against Atlanta has always been the least obvious one on paper, given that the Braves had a strong catching trio of Travis Darneau, Pina, and Contreras. But apparently general manager Alex Anthoporous saw an opportunity to upgrade that group and sent Pina and Contreras off to make room for Murphy.
It is the second consecutive winter that Atlanta traded one of Oakland’s stars and extended him immediately. In the final offseason, they acquired Olson and signed him to his eight-year, $168 million extension the next day. Olson has already established himself as a key part of the Braves’ core, and Murphy looks set to do the same in 2023 and beyond.
As previously mentioned, numerous expansions have established a strong core in Atlanta.Like them, they also have Max Freed Conquered until 2024, Rookie Vaughan Grissom until 2028, and Kyle Wright Until 2026.
Murphy was set to make $3.5 million in arbitration this season, according to MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz’s predictions, so next season he’ll only get a $500,000 raise from that figure. However, this is important for the calculation of the luxury tax accounting for his AAV in the contract. In Murphy’s case, it will be his AAV of just over $12 million that will push the Braves to Tier 1 of the luxury tax. Of course, the Braves could consider cutting salaries to stay below that level, but at this stage it’s just a small penalty for overages. Plus, access to club options (no buyouts) worth just over $50 million. Charlie MortonDarneau, Kirby Yates, Colin McHugh, Orlando Alcia When Eddie Rosario You can comfortably put it back under the threshold to decide next winter.