Daniel Murphy signs minor league deal with Angels

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Daniel Murphy is joining the Los Angeles Angels on a minor league contract, the next step in a surprising comeback bid by the three-time All-Star.

The 38-year-old Murphy was hitting .331 in 37 games this season for the Long Island Ducks in the independent Atlantic League. He last played in the majors in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season with the Colorado Rockies. During the winter that followed, he said he was retiring.

But more than two years later, Murphy is giving it another shot. His move to the Angels adds infield depth for Los Angeles and puts him back in affiliated ball with a big league organization.

"Honestly, I didn't know until a week or so ago that he was playing," Angels manager Phil Nevin said Monday before his team's game against the Texas Rangers. "It sounds like he looks good. He's been swinging the bat. We'll see what we got when he goes out and plays."

The Ducks announced the deal Monday, saying the Angels purchased Murphy's contract and he will report to Triple-A Salt Lake. The Angels confirmed they were adding Murphy, but did not specify where he is headed.

"I just heard about it a little while ago," Nevin said. "Yeah, it's a depth thing. I know he's been swinging well in the independent league. I'm fond of those guys that come from the independent leagues. I've been from one, too."

Murphy powered the New York Mets into the 2015 World Series with an incredible postseason performance, hitting home runs in a record six consecutive playoff games and winning the NL Championship Series MVP award.

He was runner-up for NL MVP in 2016 with the Washington Nationals, and won two Silver Slugger awards at second base. The left-handed hitter owns a .296 career batting average with 138 home runs, 735 RBI, 1,572 hits and a .796 OPS in 1,452 big league games over 12 seasons with the Mets, Nationals, Cubs and Rockies.

With the Ducks, he posted an .861 OPS with two homers, nine doubles and 19 RBI while playing first and second base. He had a 16-game hitting streak from May 16 to June 1, the longest by a Ducks player this season.

The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball is a Professional Partner League of Major League Baseball.