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November 14, 2008

Orioles agree on minor league deal with former A's utility man Murphy

The Orioles traditionally announce their minor league signings later in the offseason when they unveil the list of players getting major league invites to spring training. Expect former Oakland Athletics utility man Donnie Murphy to be on the list.

Murphy’s agent, Jim Kuzmich, said today that Murphy agreed with the Orioles on a minor league deal with a major league invite. Murphy, a 25-year-old who made the A’s Opening Day roster last year, hit .184 (19-for-103) with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 46 games for the A’s. In parts of four major league seasons, Murphy, who plays second base, shortstop and third base, has a career .195 average with 10 homers and 45 RBIs.

"Donnie is looking for a place to play much more consistently than he was in Oakland," said Kuzmich. "You’re talking about a kid that came up playing in the Kansas City organization every day. The Orioles expressed that should Donnie’s bat develop into what we think it could develop into on the major league level, they see him having a more-defined role."

Kuzmich said that the Orioles have also expressed interest in another of his clients, catcher, Chris Stewart. The 26-year-old backstop hit .279 last with 2 homers and 24 RBIs in 86 games last year for Scranton-Wilkes Barre, the New York Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate.

Oh, I heard from the Schmucker today. He's a little worried that I'm setting the bar too high for his blog. . . .sorry, but when there's news, we're gonna report it here. He'll still gets the credit since it's his blog. And I'm just doing what he asked me to do.

-- Jeff Zrebiec

Posted by Tim Wheatley at 5:34 PM | | Comments (31)


The balance of the AL East may never be the same after this move

The balance of the AL East may never be the same after this move

.195 Career average? Are you serious? Why do the O's keep signing these light hitting players? So much for MacPhail saying that he wanted to get more offense in the shortstop position.

Hey Peter, Jeff is doing a great job. Ever hear of Wally Pipp?

just what we needed! a weak hitting second baseman! MacPhail you really are making quite shrewd moves... not!

i wonder what part of dream land the Orioles are in, with signing Donnie Murphy thinking he might play in the majors some day. we sure don't need any more career minor leaguers.

no way we got murphy!?! awesome! i CAN'T believe it...

... yes i can. who are we looking to sign next? leo gomez jr? i hear we have a need for a backup backup 3rd baseman

hahaha no one cares baltimore will not care unless the 0s sign TEX, Burnett and others lol this team is tired of the losing and as of right now there is no hope in site lol we are becoming the raiders of baseball we want a winner!!! we have waited long enough!!

I have loved the way things have been run to this point, fill the minors! That being said I agree with bringing in free agents just not the ones that cost a team. I would love nothing more than to have Teixeira here but lets not bet the farm on one guy. Until some of these prospects that we have now develop lets get a #2 pitcher that can teach some of these youngsters how to pitch AJ Burnett is NOT a #1 but will command #1 money. Let's continue to fill the minors when the time is right we sign free agents to fill our needs not the seats. A winning team fills the seats not a player.

I am sure now that Roberts will be traded with this signing...

Chris Stewart would be a nice alternative to Quiroz. Young, good defense, decent hitter in the minors. Certainly not a starting catcher, but probably a solid backup.

OK, would everyone please relax! Did you even read the article? It was a minor league signing for goodness sakes!! It didn't cost us anything and if the guy doesn't make the 25 man roster, he's going to the minors anyway. He's 25, versatile, and made the A's opening day roster last year. They must have liked something about the kid. But this is no big deal.

So keep things in perspective. No FA's have signed with other teams yet, and this is only opening day of the signing period.

Unbelievable, MacPhail makes a minor league deal, and you all want to tar and feather the guy.


What I don't understand is you hear of the Willingham and Olsen deal to the Nats for nothing, and the O's don't make a sniff at something like that. Trades like that are the ones the O's should be exploring. Bring in guys with SOME talent

I've seen potential in Donnie Murphy when he was with the A's. Yes I've noticed. I also notice that we have a surplus of infielders that can hit .184 or better in our own minor league affiliates.
We don't need anymore of these guys. I welcome Donnie Murphy, but we need to get serious. The Yankees signed Nick Swisher, a proven guy. He can do things even though he had an off year.
We need to go into the free agents market with big money to spend.
Tex is going to fill some seats if he's signed. A very local kid. But he's not going to put us over the 68 win season by himself.

world series here we come!

Just another no name minor league fill that will make no impact on this organization what so ever.

I hear that Kiko Garcia's agent is interested in talking to the Orioles.

Wayne Gross, Floyd Rayford, Fritz Connally, Kelly Paris, Juan Bonilla, Jackie Gutierrez, Keith Hughes, Jeff Stone, Rick Schu, Wade Rowdon, Tom O'Malley, Sherman Obando, Chito Martinez, Pedro Swann and now Donnie Murphy. Will the Orioles ever stop mindlessly signing other team's inept rejects? This has been going on for the last 25 seasons. ENOUGH!

Hopefully this just means that we're finished with Fahey


This signing is typical Orioles and I hope is not the sign of what is coming. I mean Roland Hemmond pulled this kind of move and the PR that followed about the never been, never going to be was unheard of! We need some real talent, not more of the same! This guy is the new Freddie Bynum!

What I don't understand is you hear of the Willingham and Olsen deal to the Nats for nothing, and the O's don't make a sniff at something like that. Trades like that are the ones the O's should be exploring. Bring in guys with SOME talent


read this -

essentially, Scott Olsen would be a slight improvement over Chris Waters except we would have to pay him more money sooner, and Willingham sounds like a perfect DH candidate. (if you want someone to platoon with Scott in LF, I bet Lou Montanez is a better defender). sure, these guys are cheap (in trade value) and talented, but in the end, do we want to give up prospects for an average #5 starter and a DH, who are approaching arbitration in the near future?

as for the news in this article - look, it's a *minor league deal*. also, Bill James projects him to hit .236/.290/.410 next season in 144 AB, which is at least an improvement over Juan Castro - among other things, Murphy had an uncharacteristically high K/9 and a low BABIP last season, both of which should regress. (

I like the deal. I think he may be another Belanger or Aparicio type. I think we bat him third behind Huff. I think his range, dynamic defensive skills and hitting power, ala Rich Dauer, could help lead us to another championship! Ooops, wrong universe, wrong owner, never mind!

I hope this guy can pitch because I can't figure out what else he can do. A few more of this kind of signing and we can guaranty our place in the AL East for the next, say, 11 years. Please, A M lets concentrate on the problem at hand. You have plenty of time to sign guys like Murphy. They're always around .

Donnie Murphy could have been the O's shortstop for the entire 2008 season. He has some power and he's better than the clowns they auditioned. So it's not a bad signing at all.
That said, they should aim a little higher, even in another rebuilding year. Get Cesar Isturiz. He would be cheap and he'll do the job defensively. The pitchers could use a quality glove man behind them.

On the surface McPhail wil talk about gettng top guys but in the end he'll sign scrubs like this and hopes he catches lightning.McPhail is a huge believer in the warm body theory.

thank you, sheets. I can't believe how up in arms everyone was about a minor league deal that might help to fill a hole in the middle infield that was the O's standout problem of last year (save the "1 man, four question mark" starting rotation in August and September). If Murphy works out..great. if not, no hard feelings kid, no hard feelings Andy. but given that Murphy's only 25, this isn't exactly comparable to signing Juan Castro. It actually is a move that could be valuable in the long term. I know the prospect of 12 losing seasons sucks, but I'm glad the O's are still trying to build the team and not buy one.

Hey guys, get a life. Jeff is just reporting the news as it happens. There's always need for minor league filler, and the guy is just 25. Lighten up. No one said,"pack it up, we're done dealing". Let's wait until everything shakes out before we start crying in our beer.

OMG, the Orioles got their Miguel Tejeda shortstop.

Sorry Miggy, no insult intended.

Oh goody. With these guys, now I can finally get serious about getting tickets for the playoffs.

Does anybody know if the Orioles have looked into whether or not Woodie Held or Chico Salmon are still available?


I suppose Adam Jones & Chris Tillman are warm bodies too. Give MacPhail a break! He's had one off season and despite limited trading chips got a very promising return for Bedard and a possible down road return for Miggy. If Troy Patton & Albers bounce back from injury and contribute, and I'll grant you that's a big if, then the Tejada deal looks solid.

Everyone wants Andy to make a bold signing in the first couple of days of FA market, but the truth is, that a guy like Tex or AJ are going to weigh offers and locations and probably not commit until December at the earliest. So let MacPhail continue talking extension to Markakis & B-Rob. Hopefully both get done, and Andy can turn full attention to FA market.

Good Lord, what a total lack of baseball acumen. All the people making fun of this signing and the signing of Hennesey don't realize that all teams make these type of signings. I dont remember Mac getting in front of the cameras and saying Murphy is the guy to put the team over the top. These are just moves to add depth and bolster the system and we can expect more of the same.
All these people above think they are being clever but all they are doing is showing their ignorance. No wonder Baltimore is considered a sorry sports town.

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About Peter Schmuck
Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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