David Murphy is close to signing a two-year deal with the Cleveland Indians, a source confirmed.Murphy spent the past seven seasons with the Texas Rangers, but is coming off his worst season in the big leagues. Murphy began the season as the everyday left fielder, but ended it in a platoon role by splitting time with Craig Gentry.Murphy got off to a slow start, which has been typical in his career, but it continued without a second-half surge. He finished the year batting .220 with a .282 on-base percentage.Murphy had a career year in 2012, though, batting .304 with 15 home runs and 61 RBIs.The Rangers expressed interest in signing Murphy to a multiyear deal before the season, but that never came to fruition. And, as Murphy struggled throughout the season, a deal became less and less likely.Murphy, 32, will head to Cleveland for a fresh start after what’s been a successful stint with the Rangers. Texas acquired Murphy, along with outfielder Engel Beltre and pitcher Kason Gabbard, in a 2007 trade from the Red Sox in exchange for reliever Eric Gagne and cash.Now the Rangers will continue to explore options to improve their corner outfield spots.The Rangers could look at bringing back Nelson Cruz, who turned down the team’s one-year, $14 million qualifying offer this month to become a free agent. There are other options on the market, as well, including Shin-Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison