I’ve always been a Dale Murphy fan and his time is running short. With him getting less then 20% on the Hall of Fame ballot, it doesn’t look like he’s getting in but let’s look at why Murphy might be considered.
The case for Murphy is that he was one of the best hitters in the 1980s. He won two home run titles, two MVPs and he also had his own little iron man streak with four straight seasons of 162 games. He just missed 400 home runs (he finished with 398) and he has a career OPS of .815.
Of course the counter argument for Murphy is he flamed out fast. From 1998 to the end of his career, he was pretty bad and he never hit about .252. Even his last year with the Braves was a rough one where he finished with just a .667 OPS. So that hurts his case. Still, he has more then 1,200 career RBIs and almost 1,200 career runs and he had the peak HOF votes like to see.
The Braves didn’t offer contracts to Peter Moylan and Brooks Conrad and in effect, turned them into free agents. With Moylan, they would have had to sign him for around $2 million and it looks like they thought they can go lower then that and still compete with any other interested teams. Moylan missed most of 2011 after he had shoulder surgery and it’s expected that he’ll start working out for teams so the Braves will get a chance to see how he’s progressing.
Conrad was used as a pinch hitter most of the time and while he wasn’t great, he had his moments. He’s a switch hitter and he can play everywhere on the infield so he’ll probably get a look. He’s a lot better against left handed pitching though so he’s more of a right handed pinch hitter then anything.
The Braves still have some work to do. Michael Bourn, Martin Prado, Jair Jurrjens and Eric O’Flaherty are all arbitration eligible and we’ll see who gets deals before hand or who goes to the table.
It’s funny how one of the top picks for better teams in the Rule 5 drafts are left handed relief pitchers. That’s what the Braves used for their pick when they scooped up Robert Fish from the Angels. Fish has to play with the team the entire season or they give him back to the Angels but this guy put up some solid numbers in 2010.
With Double-A last year, he struck out 41 in 30 1/2 innings. This is actually Fish’s second go around because the Yankees picked him last year in the Rule 5 draft then he was put on waivers and the Royals picked him up. Because they didn’t put him on the 40 man, he was then shipped back to the Angels.
On the flip side, the Braves didn’t lose anyone in the Rule 5 draft. That’s neither at the MLB or MiLB draft.
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