The Twins are in the market for a less expensive bat to replace that of free agent Jason Kubel, whom they don’t figure to be able to re-sign. The Twins are reportedly making a strong push to retain fellow free agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer, however.
This is the first we’ve heard of any rumblings that Murphy could be moved and unless the Rangers were to add a centerfielder, this move wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense for Texas. As the roster stands now, Murphy would figure to see the vast majority of the left field at bats, but the club is known to prefer to move Josh Hamilton to left full-time.
Until an everyday centerfielder is added, however, Hamilton will patrol center in Arlington, flanked my Murphy and Nelson Cruz.
The Rangers are already in the market for outfield help, even without subtracting Murphy, which is something Ken Rosenthal alluded to with a tweet this afternoon. But a deal with the Twins could potentially solve one Ranger problem without depleting their depth.
If you’re wondering about the financial impact of such a trade, Murphy is a second-time arbitration-eligible player and MLBTR is projecting a salary of $3.25 million for him in 2012. Span is under contract for three more year, plus an option year that will pay him a total of $14.75 million guaranteed. His deal includes a $9 million club option with a $500,000 buyout in 2015.
This is all just speculation, so I won’t spend a ton of time breaking down the ramifications, but if any kind of Murphy-for-Span deal were to be completed, the Rangers and Twins would likely both fill a pressing need. Both outfields would be set for 2012, especially if Minnesota is successful in re-upping with Cuddyer.