The Diamondbacks are in position to be buyers at the deadline for the first time in years, and are making the most of it.
The D’backs acquired veteran catcher John Ryan Murphy from the Twins for lefthander Gabriel Moya on Thursday.
Murphy provides catching depth for the Diamondbacks, where Jeff Mathis, Chris Iannetta and Chris Herrmann have manned the position at the big league level.
Moya gives the Twins another young relief arm in their system in exchange for an extra player who did not appear in the majors this season and was not in their plans going forward.
The Diamondbacks signed Moya out of Venezuela in 2012. Five years later, he’s evolved into arguably the most dominant relief prospect in the minors. Moya is on an historic run, having not allowed an earned run since May 2 as Double-A Jackson’s closer. That’s a stretch of 24 appearances and 30.2 innings. The 6-foot, 175-pound lefthander does it with a deceptive low 90s fastball that looks like it pops out of his ear in his delivery and a plus-plus changeup regarded by many as the best in the Southern League this year. He also has a slider and curveball he can mix in to provide a different look, throws strikes and earns raves for his competitiveness. With deception, an out pitch, and a closer mentality, Moya is a perfect 17-for-17 in saves this year and has a chance to be in a big league bullpen shortly.
| DIAMONDBACKS ACQUIRE John Ryan Murphy, c Age: 26|
Murphy was supposed to become the Twins’ backup catcher when Minnesota acquired him for Aaron Hicks after the 2015 season. That trade turned into a disaster for the Twins as Murphy’s bat cratered while Hicks has turned into an extremely valuable and versatile member of the Yankees’ outfield. With the development of Mitch Garver and the recent acquisition of Anthony Recker this year, Murphy is currently positioned more as a fill-in emergency backup at Triple-A more than a potential big league backup, especially as teams usually look for more power from their backup catcher than Murphy can provide.