In the largeѕt tranѕaсtіon of the offѕeaѕon thuѕ far, a рotentіal Red Sox tаrɡet haѕ сome off the board

As first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan, athletics traded catcher Sean Murphy for the Braves. It’s a three-party, nine-player deal between Atlanta, Oakland and Milwaukee. Murphy is the only player going to Atlanta while catcher William Contreras, right-hander Joel Payamps and right-hander Justin Yeager will head to the Brewers and a five-player pack featuring Kyle Muller, catcher Manny Pina, utility man Esteury Ruiz and his right hand Freddy Tarnok and Royber Salinas go to the Athletics competition.

Boston is known to be one of the few teams interested in buying Murphy along with the Diamondbacks, Astros, Cubs, Guardians, Twins and Rays. The Red Sox are known to be looking for upgrades this winter as Reese McGuire and Connor Wong are the only stops on the 40-man roster. Murphy, who is under the team’s control for another three seasons and at a reasonable cost, makes sense as a potential target, although it comes at an exorbitant price tag.

Boston has considered reuniting with Christian Vázquez and may also be interested in free agent Mike Zunino. Other free agent options include Roberto Perez, Robinson Chirinos, Omar Narváez, Jorge Alfaro and Pedro Severino. According to sources, the Red Sox is willing to trade with one of their catchers on a suitable deal, and could look to make an out-of-the-box addition. With Murphy with him, the Braves can find a way to move Travis d’Arnaud, who is a reasonable fit for the Red Sox.

“There have been some talks. We’re in on the guys that we like,” chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said at last week’s Winter Meetings. “There’s some guys that we like but, forever reason, aren’t the right fits for us. We’re trying to be selective with who we pursue.

“I don’t see it as any different than a lot of other areas of our roster. We have good options at that position,” Bloom said. “We should always be looking to get better everywhere. That’s going to be easier in some places than others. That’s no different here. There’s a few guys that they, if they’re free agents, or their teams, if they’re not, know that we have interest. The timing on those and how exactly that progresses, we’ll see. We’re certainly active in that.”

Murphy has never been an All-Star but quietly emerged as one of the top catchers in baseball in his four years with the A’s. In 2022, the 28-year-old hit .250 with 18 homers, 66 RBIs and a .759 OPS in 148 games.

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