Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics

MLB trade regrade: Braves dominating the Sean Murphy swap

It’s only Spring Training, but if we already regrade the Sean Murphy trade between the Braves and Athletics, Atlanta is an even bigger winner than before.

The Atlanta Braves managed to shock the baseball world earlier this offseason whenever they shook up their catcher depth by trading for Sean Murphy in a three-team deal with the Oakland Athletics and Milwaukee Brewers.

William Contreras went to the Brewers in that deal as the second-biggest piece of the trade, but the A’s received a five-player package that, from Atlanta, included catcher Manny Piña, right-handed pitcher Freddy Tarnok, and lefty Kyle Muller in the deal.

And even though we’re not remotely out of Spring Training, the Braves look like massive winners of the trade, even more so than when they made the swap in the offseason.

MLB trade regrade: Sean Murphy deal a landslide win for the Braves

While Murphy hasn’t played a regular-season game, the Braves know they’re getting one of the best all-around catchers in baseball, a top-tier defender with a good bat that could have even more upside in Atlanta. Meanwhile, what the A’s got back has not been promising for Oakland so far.

Tarnok looked solid early this spring, but he hasn’t been on the field for Oakland since March 8 after feeling “tingling” in the thumb on his throwing hand, a highly worrisome sign.

Meanwhile, it’s a similarly tough injury situation with Piña. After experiencing pain in his wrist and leaving a game, it’s being reported that he might not be able to suit up by Opening Day at the end of the month.

And if that weren’t enough, Muller has been rough so far in the spring, posting a 6.00 ERA over nine innings and three appearances. That’s not exactly the type of return that the A’s were hoping for when they made this deal.

The grades around the trade when it happened weren’t favorable to Oakland as many surmised the A’s should’ve looked for more in the deal. But now seeing the early returns, it looks even worse. If Murphy delivers like the Braves faithful believe he will too, that’s going to be a resounding victory for Atlanta.

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