After the Athletics traded Sean Murphy to the Atlanta Braves last December, the Gold Glove catcher went on to enjoy plenty of success in the National League and made his first MLB All-Star team in 2023.
There's no telling if he would have played as well with the Giants in San Francisco, but it reportedly almost became a reality.
The Giants were "involved to the end" with the A's in trade talks for Murphy, The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly reported in his column Friday. San Francisco was willing to send infield prospect Marco Luciano in the deal, per Baggarly, but Oakland wanted Giants pitching phenom Kyle Harrison.
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Ultimately, the A's sent Murphy to the Braves as part of a three-team trade with the Milwaukee Brewers on Dec. 12, 2022. Oakland acquired right-handed pitching prospects Freddy Tarnok and Royber Salinas, left-hander Kyle Muller and veteran catcher Manny Piña from Atlanta as well as Brewers outfield prospect Esteury Ruiz in the trade while also trading right-hander Joel Payamps to Milwaukee.
After the blockbuster deal, the Braves signed Murphy to a six-year, $73 million contract extension. He rewarded Atlanta for its generosity this season, with 21 home runs and a .843 OPS that helped the Braves reach the 2023 MLB playoffs.
The Giants, who struggled mightily at the plate in a disappointing 2023 campaign, certainly could have benefitted from such firepower behind the dish for them this season.
But rookie catcher Patrick Bailey widely is viewed as one of the best young defenders in the game, with flashes of above-average offensive potential, and San Francisco has made it clear they view Luciano as their shortstop of the future after he debuted in July. And Harrison, who made his debut in August, looks poised to sit atop the Giants' rotation with Logan Webb for quite some time.
San Francisco Giants
The trade Oakland did pull off for Murphy bore some fruit, as speedy rookie Ruiz made his mark on the A's franchise this season after breaking the AL rookie record for most stolen bases in a season.
While it's fun to imagine the "what ifs" of Murphy in the Orange and Black, the past is in the past. Now, the Giants are looking ahead to their biggest offseason yet, where a new manager and MLB's biggest free-agent target of all time await.