When the Twins acquired backup catcher Anthony Recker from the Braves as part of the Jaime Garcia trade, many speculated (including myself) that the Twins may be trying to trade one of the four catchers already on their 40-man roster. It appears now that the Twins have done just that, sending John Ryan Murphy to the Diamondbacks for left-hander Gabriel Moya.
Moya, 22, was rated as Arizona's 25th best prospect by MLB.com. He’s spent 2017 serving as the closer for Arizona’s Double-A team, the Jackson Generals. You could say he’s done a good job, since he has a 0.82 ERA with 68 strikeouts over 43.2 innings, and is 17-for-17 in save opportunities. His 0.78 WHIP is outstanding too.
Moya’s not exactly throwing gas, though. He has an average fastball and plus changeup. Once a starter, Moya now projects to be a set-up man in the bullpen.
Frankly, I’m shocked and pleased the Twins got, well, anything for John Ryan Murphy. To say that Murphy has been a disappointment would be an understatement. Since the Twins acquired him from the Yankees for Aaron Hicks in 2015, Murphy has only played in 26 major league games. Instead, he’s spent most of his time in Triple-A, where he’s currently hitting .222/.298/.330. They say he’s a good pitch framer, but also a bit of an airhead when it comes to pitch-to-pitch defense.
Earlier this year I was convinced the Twins would DFA John Ryan Murphy and that he’d probably go through waivers unclaimed. Instead, wonder boys Derek Falvey and Thad Levine turned him into a decent 22-year-old reliever. Not bad.