The Athletic’s Robert Murray is reporting that the Milwaukee Brewers have expressed interest in signing free agent second baseman Daniel Murphy.
The 34-year-old Murphy is a versatile fielder and left-handed bat. He can play multiple positions, but has predominantly manned second and first since 2016.
Murphy is coming off a down season for his standards. He hit .299/.336/.454, a 110 wRC+ and a 115 DRC+ with the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs. He did spend nearly half of the season injured, only appearing in 98 games and accumulating 351 plate appearances.
His contact rate also saw a hard dip last season, showing that the dip in performance wasn’t likely just bad luck. Murphy’s hard-hit rate dipped from the mid-30s to 26.1% and a slight dip in line drive rate that went into his ground ball rate. There’s a chance last year’s injury could have contributed to the decline, but age could have played a role as well.
Murphy also isn’t something most would call a defensive wizard. Last year, Murphy had -18 DRS at second and -1 DRS at first. He hasn’t played third base substantially since 2015 and hasn’t touched the outfield since 2011.
Murphy would likely take some money and commitment to sign, meaning he would be more than a transitional piece as the team waits for Keston Hiura to develop.