The Daniel Murphy experiment is over. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com released the full list of 2020 free agents and Murphy was listed alongside Drew Butera, Matt Kemp, Chris Owings, Kevin Pillar, and AJ Ramos. He then tweeted that since Murphy was listed, that meant that the Rockies didn’t pick up his mutual option:
Daniel Murphy is on the list of 147 @MLB free agents, meaning his $12 million mutual option with the Rockies was declined.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) October 28, 2020
Murphy was signed by the Rockies in 2019 as essentially a replacement for second baseman DJ LeMahieu. During his time in Colorado, he hit .269/.316/.426 and hit 16 home runs. In 2020 alone, he hit just .236/.275/.333 with three home runs in 40 of the 60 games before being ultimately benched for Josh Fuentes.
Defensively, Murphy was a lackluster first baseman. In 2019, he posted a DRS of 3 and committed nine errors. However, he posted a DRS of -3 in 2020 and committed four errors in the shortened 2020 season. Many people expected him to perform well at Coors Field due to his offensive potential, but he fell flat in many regards (he ended up 40th out of 40 on this year’s Ranking the Rockies series).
With Murphy’s departure, that likely clears the way for Fuentes to take over as the full-time first baseman in 2021. I’m sure Toothy will miss him!