David Murphy
David Murphy
36-Year-Old OutfielderOF
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2018 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for David Murphy in 2018. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Agreed to a minor league contract with the Twins in April of 2016.
OFFree Agent  
April 26, 2016
Murphy intends to retire from baseball, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
ANALYSIS
Murphy technically became a free agent Monday after exercising the out in his contract with the Twins. He might have been an option for the big-league squad as soon as this week, but Murphy decided he'd rather spend more time with his family, suggesting that retirement is on the horizon. He probably won't file the actual papers, as he's only 34 years old and could conceivably still help a major league team in a platoon or pinch-hitting role.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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2004
The Angels acquired Murphy from the Rangers at the trade deadline as part of a platoon in the outfield, and while the five home runs that he hit in 48 games represented decent production, he was not issued a qualifying offer by the team this winter. The outfield for the Halos is in a state of flux, with Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout being the only two sure to have a starting spot in 2016. Even if Murphy were to reprise his role as a platoon man on a new contract, he emerged from last season with just a 102 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, leaving little to be excited about from a fantasy perspective. While a high contact rate could lead to Murphy putting up another solid batting average (.283 in 2015), it is worth pointing out that his ISO has not exceeded .140 in two seasons since leaving Globe Life Park for more pitcher-friendly environments.
Murphy's first season in Cleveland served as a rebound from his final campaign in Texas, as he added 42 points of batting average and posted a slash line much closer to his career mark (.273/.335/.433). For the first time as a big leaguer, Murphy failed to reach double-digit home runs, and for the second straight season, he contributed much less than the double-digit stolen bases that he offered from 2010-2012. The drop in long balls was fueled by a career-low 6.3% HR/FB (career 9.9%), offering some hope of a rebound in that category. Now 33, there is little reason to expect the speed to return, and Murphy's defense graded out well below average in 2014, which could ultimately put his playing time in jeopardy if he's unable to show a more discerning eye at the plate.
Murphy had his worst season as a lineup regular in 2013, hitting just .220 with 13 homers in nearly 500 at-bats. A three-year streak of 10-plus steals came to an abrupt end as well, as he was just 1-for-5 on the basepaths. Signed by the Indians to a two-year deal in November, Murphy's career numbers against righties (.280/.347/.469) retains some value if manager Terry Francona deploys him accordingly as part of a corner-outfield platoon.
It happens every March. Murphy is seemigly buried on the depth chart, destined for a reserve outfielder role, and yet he ends up with 400-plus at-bats by the time October comes calling. It was much the same again last year, and you can all but mark him down for 15 homers, 55 RBI, 50 runs and 10 steals every year. There are far worse endgame options should it progress to that point, and the only concern here would be a move to the outfield for Ian Kinsler or the acquisition of a bigger ticket corner outfielder.
Murphy starts every year as the fourth outfielder and ends the season with 120 games and 400 at-bats under his belt, invariably aided by injuries to Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton. He didn't hit for much power or average this season, though he still managed a roto-friendly 11 homers, 11 steals and 46 RBI that likely far outpaced his cost back in March. He's a favorite of manager Ron Washington, though a possible permanent shift of Hamilton to left field (with Leonys Martin manning center field) would seem to cut into Murphy's playing time to some extent, but he'll get his at-bats somewhere.
Murphy begins every spring training without a spot in the everyday lineup but ends up with 400-plus at-bats by the end of the year. He's a cheap source of 15 homers, 60 RBI and a .280 average, and he'll get his 400 at-bats again despite an apparent lack of available at-bats when March rolls around. To sweeten the pot, Murphy went 14-for-16 on stolen base attempts last season and his part-time role should be significant as long as the Rangers have a mix of injury-prone corner outfielders and an uncertain option in center field with Julio Borbon.
Murphy began the year buried on the bench and went hitless in his first 21 at-bats. He got back in the lineup with Josh Hamilton limited by injury, and posted a decent season when all was said and done. He'll find himself getting regular at-bats with the offseason departure of Hank Blalock and Andruw Jones, plus the departure of Marlon Byrd via free agency. He's a good bet to approach 20 homers and 70 RBI in an expanded role, though his value takes a small hit in leagues that use OBP and slugging as scoring categories.
Murphy missed the final two months of the season with a knee injury suffered in a home plate collision, but still managed a respectable fantasy line. He tailed off a bit (.239/.265/.435 in June, .238/.315/.438 in July), but he's a favorite of Ron Washington, which should result in a semi-regular reserve role at a minimum. There's a platoon possibility with Marlon Byrd if Nelson Cruz earns regular playing time in the spring and Hank Blalock is limited to DH duties.
Murphy made a good impression with his new club, hitting a robust .343/.384/.552 in 105 at-bats after being acquired from Boston in the Eric Gagne trade, but a truer reflection of his skills are found in his Triple-A numbers (.280/.347/.423, 41 walks in 400 at-bats). He'll get a look at earning an everyday lineup spot in the spring with Texas' lack of decent outfielders, but don't get fooled here looking strictly at his numbers for Texas.
Murphy finally reached the show in 2006, getting some September at-bats for Boston. His batting average and power numbers dropped through stops at Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket, but he still possesses an excellent swing and shows good patience at the plate. The club would like to see him develop more power. Though he came up as a center fielder, he'll probably be a corner outfielder for the Red Sox, who are high on center field prospect Jacoby Ellsbury and still have Coco Crisp at the major league level. He could stick with Boston as a left-handed bat off the bench and fifth outfielder.
Murphy finally started to show why he was taken in the first round in the 2003 draft. A lackluster 2004 carried over into the beginning of 2005 when he was hitting as low as .207 on June 7, however he salvaged the season by hitting .310 (75-for-242) in the final 66 games, including a .379 (39-for-103) July, and won the organization's minor league defensive player of the year award (four errors in 131 games). His power stroke started to develop and he improved in every major offensive category. He'll likely begin the 2006 season in Triple-A.
Murphy, 23, was Boston's first-round pick in 2003. He has all the ancillary skills -- leadership, patience at the plate, a good attitude -- but is still behind offensively. You can blame injuries for keeping his stats down in 2004, but he only hit four homers in 290 at-bats. Injured or not, we expect more from an outfielder. We and the club are anxious to see how he responds in 2005.
Murphy, Boston's No. 1 pick in 2003, moved quickly to High-A Sarasota after hitting well at short season Lowell. He struggled at the higher level, but the club is pleased with his progress. He didn't show much extra-base power at either level, but he's still developing.
More Fantasy News
OFFree Agent  
April 25, 2016
Murphy exercised the out in his contract and became a free agent Monday, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports.
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OFMinnesota Twins  
April 14, 2016
Murphy signed a minor league deal with the Twins on Thursday, the Star Tribune's LaVelle Neal reports.
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OFFree Agent  
April 13, 2016
Murphy has no plans to retire at this time and hopes to join a major league team in the near future, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports.
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OFFree Agent  
March 28, 2016
Murphy was granted his release by the Red Sox on Monday, Rob Bradford reports.
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OFBoston Red Sox  
March 27, 2016
Murphy opted out of his contract with the Red Sox on Sunday, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports.
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