Daniel Murphy put a strong emphasis on wanting to play for a contender when deciding where to sign as a free agent this winter. Murphy believes the Colorado Rockies can compete for a World Series with their young, budding nucleus and opted to sign with the club on a two-year, $24 million contract with a mutual option for the 2021 season.
“One of the main things for my family and I was to identify a ball club we thought had a legitimate and a real shot at winning the World Series, and the Rockies came up at the top of that list when we started identifying clubs,” Murphy said on a conference call from his hometown of Jacksonville, FL.
“A talented group with a great manager and an awesome front office and ownership group. That’s what the Rockies are,” he continued.
Murphy will primarily play first base for Colorado and fills arguably the club’s biggest need this offseason. Despite playing most of his career at second base (834 games), Murphy says he is more comfortable playing the corner infield position and has logged over 225 games there.
“In speaking with Mr. Bridich, the organization and Buddy as well, it seems like the best fit for me is first base,” Murphy said. “I’m excited about it because I have done it before. Full disclosure: I am probably a little bit more comfortable at first base then I am at second. It seems like that is where my best fit on this club is going to be. I’m just here to fall in line on a ballclub that’s ready-made, basically.”
Subsequently, the Rockies addition of Murphy will likely end the experiment of Ian Desmond playing first base. Rockies General Manager Jeff Bridich said the club has had discussions with Desmond about potentially seeing more time in the outfield this coming season.
The addition of Murphy will help stabilize the Rockies lineup and give protection to Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story. Murphy can be placed anywhere in the batting order but has primarily hit between the 2-5 spots, owning a career .299 batting average. The 33 year old has a career .306 batting average when hitting second, and a mark of .329 as a cleanup hitter.
“My favorite spot to hit in the lineup will be wherever Buddy puts me that evening,” Murphy said. “I like to fancy myself pretty low maintenance. Wherever my name ends up, that’s my favorite spot.”
The Rockies have solidified first base and now will be patient when it comes to making any additional moves this offseason, according to Bridich.