Thomas James Murphy Jr.
Height: 6'1" Weight: 21
Bats/Throws: Right / Right
Born: 04/03/1991 in West Monroe, New York
Offseason home: Constantia, New York
College: SUNY Buffalo
Family: Wife Lindsay, daughter Tessa, son Jase
Acquired: In trade from the San Francisco Giants, for Jesús Ozoria (03/29/2019)
MLB Debut: 09/12/2015
Free Agent after: 2023 season
Murphy says he's 100% healthy, fully recovered from the broken foot that kept him on the shelf for the entirety of the short 2020 season. That's good for the M's, as Murph will be counted on to handle catching duties about 60% of the time this year, serving as primary backstop in front of Luis Torrens. The upstate-New Yorker played himself into a starting role in 2019, having come over from the San Francisco Giants at the close of spring training to serve as backup to ex-Mariner Omar Narváez. Murphy hit much better than anyone expected him to, especially against left-handers (.347/.408/.695), and as a superior defender to Narváez, found himself playing more often and eventually made Narváez expendable (Omar would be traded to Milwaukee after the season). The pitchers like throwing to him, and he ranks relatively high on "pitch-framing" metrics, so he earns his keep no matter how well he hits. Anything even close to his 2019 production would be more than welcome, but some regression is to be expected; Murph strikes out a lot, especially against right-handers (33% of the time in ’19), and depending on how Torrens plays, he could find himself on the bench more often then not against righties. Oh, who are we kidding, Scott Servais doesn't care about such things, the manager will most likely stick to his 60% plan regardless of what actually plays out on the field.
When he was told he'd been traded to the Mariners, Murphy was reportedly watching reruns of "The Office," a favorite of his. He's seen the entire run several times, he said, and enjoys tuning in whenever he comes across it. No word yet on whether he vacations at Schrute Farms.