The Brewers may not be adding any major pieces this offseason, but they’re continuing their search for solid role players and possible bench bats. Milwaukee added a possible bench bat on Monday, signing utility journeyman Donnie Murphy to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training.
Murphy will be 30 in 2013 and has played in parts of 7 seasons for the Royals, A’s and Marlins. He hit just .216/.281/.379 in 52 games with the Marlins last season, and was outrighted to the minors
by the Fish on October 17 before electing free agency. He’s played shortstop, second base and third base during his big league career, but his role as a part-time player has limited his time at each position (just 529.1, 415 and 408.2 innings at each position, respectively). For what it’s worth, the defensive numbers have been good in those extremely limited samples.
It appears Murphy will have a chance to win a job during spring training as a bench utility guy, and it appears to be a somewhat decent chance. Taylor Green and Jeff Bianchi are the only other guys in camp at the moment who have a real chance at the job (Scooter Gennett will likely start the year in Triple-A). Green can’t play shortstop, and Bianchi doesn’t have as much major league experience as Murphy (that’s not to say it’s a good reason to take Murphy over Bianchi, just a reason the Brewers seem likely to cite).
Even if Murphy doesn’t make the team out of spring training, he should provide solid depth at Nashville. The Sounds need to fill out a lineup, too, and he’s at least hit well in the Pacific Coast League.