SHANNON DRAYER

Mariners trade with Giants to add catcher depth with Tom Murphy

Mar 29, 2019, 11:24 AM
The first Mariners trade of the 2019 season was to pick up ex-Rockies catcher Tom Murphy. (AP)...
The first Mariners trade of the 2019 season was to pick up ex-Rockies catcher Tom Murphy. (AP)
(AP)

The first Mariners trade of the 2019 season has been pulled off, as Seattle added depth at catcher on Friday morning by acquiring Tom Murphy from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for minor league pitcher Jesus Ozoria.

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With the addition of Murphy to Seattle’s 40- and 25-man rosters, fellow catcher David Freitas has been optioned to Triple-A Tacoma.

Murphy, who turns 28 on April 3, was picked up by the Giants on waivers from Colorado on March 25 but designated for assignment three days later. He spent parts of the previous four seasons with the Rockies, hitting .219/.250/.387 in 96 plate appearances. He hit .226 (21 for 93) with seven doubles, one triple, two home runs and 11 RBIs in 2018 with the Rockies. In 64 games at Triple-A Albuquerque last season, he hit .258 with a .333 on-base percentage and .901 OPS.

Murphy’s best big league season came in 2016, when he hit .273 with five home runs, two doubles and 13 RBIs in 21 MLB games.

Freitas, 30, made his first appearance of the 2019 season by starting the Mariners’ home opener Thursday night at T-Mobile Park, going 0 for 2 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored. He hit .215 (20 for 93) with one home run, six doubles and five RBIs last season in 36 games with Seattle.

The 20-year-old Ozoria made his professional debut with the Dominican Summer League Mariners in 2017 after being signed on March 31, 2017. He was 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in six games (five starts) in the Dominican in 2017. In 2018 he posted a record of 5-3 with a 2.19 ERA (12 earned runs, 49.1 innings) and two saves in 14 games (five starts) in the DSL.

Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto had been looking to add to the team’s catcher depth throughout the spring. As Freitas had minor league options remaining, the team was able to send him to Tacoma. With the addition of Murphy, who will wear No. 2 and be in uniform for Friday’s 7:10 game against the Red Sox on 710 ESPN Seattle, the 40-man roster is now at 40.

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