The news of this reported deal last night, which the team still has not confirmed. It’s the reporting on the roster from Thomas Harding that I would like to call out here. He notes that Murphy will slot in at first base. That’s expected. He also says Ian Desmond will move to the outfield. That’s expected. Finally, Harding writes that Desmond will likely play center field with Charlie Blackmon in left and David Dahl in right.
That’s unexpected. It’s also stupid if it’s true. No offense to Ian Desmond and his athleticism, praised nightly by Drew Goodman, but if somebody not named Charlie is playing center field that somebody needs to be David Dahl.
Jeff Sullivan writes about all of the baseball ways that this move makes sense. Murphy hits the ball in the air a lot, which obviously plays well at Coors Field. That checks off one of the boxes that had us dreaming about Carlos Santana the last two winters. Sullivan also writes that his move to first base is overdue. That’s probably true, assuming that’s what the Rockies actually plan to do. If it works out that way, hopefully it’s a smooth transition.
I can answer the first question. Nope. As for the second question, hopefully this will lead to further moves, specifically moves that upgrade either catcher or the outfield. Nick Groke also notes in this piece that Murphy will bring value because of his postseason experience and his ability to deliver in high-leverage spots.
Finally, Groke writes that Ryan McMahon will lead a second base competition that will include Garrett Hampson and Brendan Rodgers. Apologies to Pat Valaika, but that is the correct list.
Eric Garcia McKinley offered some analysis in the time leading up to the signing on first base options. He concludes that Smoak would have been the better choice, at least in part because he’s an actual first baseman. But the pros and cons for both players still provide plenty of hope in terms of the baseball fit for Murphy with the Rockies.