MINNEAPOLIS (AP) David Murphy and the Minnesota Twins have agreed to a minor league contract, and the 34-year-old outfielder will report to Triple-A Rochester with the possibility of being promoted soon.
The Twins announced the move Thursday before they hosted Chicago, still chasing their first win of the season. Seven of their nine regulars took batting averages of .185 or lower into the game, and starting outfielders Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario have particularly struggled.
Murphy was in spring training with Boston on a minor league deal, then released before opening day. General manager Terry Ryan acknowledged the decision to add Murphy was a response to the awful start by the lineup, which produced only 13 runs over the first eight games.
''We're not doing too well here as we know, but also he was available. We thought about it back in late March when he was let go. He was playing three miles away from us. We certainly were watching Boston, like we do every club, and he had a decent spring,'' Ryan said. ''We felt pretty good leaving spring training the way we were. So far it hasn't gone too well, so we've got to have alternatives as well.''
Murphy hit .283 with 18 doubles, 10 home runs and 50 RBIs in 361 at-bats with Cleveland and the Los Angeles Angels. He has spent all 10 of his major league seasons in the AL, mostly with Texas. Murphy was a regular in the Rangers lineup for six years before signing with the Indians for 2014.
He batted a career-best .304 with a .380 on-base percentage and 15 home runs in 2012 for the Rangers.
''The guy's a decent hitter and has been for quite a long time,'' Ryan said. ''He's a veteran guy. Obviously we're young. So it's never going to hurt to have a little bit more of a veteran presence at some point. I still don't want to get too premature on exactly how he looks. We've certainly got to get a look at him.''