Cardinals must keep this prospect out of Sean Murphy trade talks

The St. Louis Cardinals need to replace Yadier Molina, who retired at the end of this season. Sean Murphy makes a lot of sense, but it’ll cost them.

Sean Murphy of the Oakland Athletics is one of the best two-way catchers in all of baseball, which is why he’s in such high demand. Oakland’s fire sale has lasted the better part of the last three offseasons, with Matt Olson and other young stars traded away for prospect capital.

Murphy fits that mold, and considering their need at catcher, the Cardinals are an obvious suitor. Multiple reports have emerged about the Cards interest in a trade, but only at a cost that doesn’t damage their system to the point of no return. Given Murphy’s ability and contract status (arbitration eligible through 2025), he won’t come cheap.

What would it cost the Cardinals to trade for Sean Murphy?

FanSided’s Eric Treuden put together a potential trade package for Sean Murphy just last week, and it’s a hefty one for St. Louis. As much as Cardinals fans have grown attached to their top prospects — and they’re not alone, that’s a flaw of every fanbase —  to add a player like Murphy, they’ll have to part ways with some of them.

Cardinals Get

C, Sean Murphy

Athletics Get

INF, Nolan Gorman

LHP, Matthew Liberatore

RHP, Jake Woodford

While Baseball Trade Values suggests this deal is relatively even, Oakland is likely to aim higher, at least initially. Jordan Walker will enter the conversation, at which point the Cardinals should hang up the phone.

Cardinals can’t afford to trade Jordan Walker

Jordan Walker is the unquestioned top prospect in the Cardinals farm system, and while he played primarily third base in his first MiLB campaign, St. Louis has started getting him looks at all three outfield spots. In doing so, they open up the possibility of a path to the majors without living in Nolan Arenado’s shadow.

Walker is only 20 years old, but his average exit velocity is already up there with top talents like Javier Baez, Fernando Tatis Jr. and more at the same age. As good as Murphy is, Walker is worth holding on to at all cost.

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