Number 3: Tom Murphy
Believe it or not, Tom Murphy is one of the best trades in Mariners’ history. Or at least, it has the potential to be. After Seattle got Murphy off the scrap heap in early April of 2019, Murphy went on to post a 3.2 fWAR in just 76 games, clubbing 18 home runs and posting a 126 wRC+.
Now, you won’t find many who believe Murphy can replicate that success again. But Murphy also carries an above-average defensive grade and is popular amongst the pitchers in Seattle. There is no way that a catcher with Murphy’s power and defensive prowess won’t carry value into a market that desperately needs starting catchers that provide any offensive upside.
Seattle was even able to trade Mike Zunino, a similar profile to Murphy, 2 winters ago for Mallex Smith and Jake Fraley. With Cal Raleigh on the way and the emergence of Austin Nola as a viable backup, the Mariners could be looking to clear the decks for Raleigh to take over sooner than later.
Seattle could easily decide to keep Murphy around for a bit. He is club controlled until after the 2023 season and handing a rookie catcher the reins his first go around the league may not be the smartest idea.
But there also exists the possibility that Seattle gets an offer so good, they can’t say no. If Murphy can come close to repeating his 2019 season, the Mariners may not have a choice but to cash in on one of the best catchers in all of baseball.