David Murphy could be on the Minnesota Twins’ active roster right now and indefinitely going forward as a veteran outfielder on a young, struggling team.
The Twins had even created a spot on their 40-man roster to bring him up from Triple A Rochester, where he had been getting at-bats after two weeks of waiting for an opportunity.
In the end, though, Murphy wanted to be part of another team — his family — and as of Sunday, the former Texas Rangers fan favorite is retired from Major League Baseball.
“Basically it got to the point where playing this game and living this lifestyle wasn’t worth it any more to be away from my family,” Murphy said Tuesday. “I’m always going to miss the game and I’ll always love it, but it doesn’t compare to my family.”
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It’s permanent. If I ever wondered if it was permanent or not, the look on their faces and their reaction sealed the deal.
Former Rangers outfielder David Murphy
Murphy, 34, exits after 10 seasons in the majors with four teams, but his longest stint was with the Rangers from 2007 to 2013, a seven-season stretch in which he batted .275 with 85 homers and 362 RBIs.
He finishes with a .274 career average with 104 homers, 472 RBIs and financial security. Providing for his family is how he justified leaving each spring for another season. But he had adjusted to the idea of retirement after two weeks at home waiting for a team to call, and when the Twins did call he felt torn about leaving.
“I wanted to go play to really figure out where my heart was,” said Murphy, a key contributor to the Rangers’ World Series teams in 2010 and 2011. “I gave myself 10 days to figure out if I really wanted to play. I went back and forth. There would be days when I was like, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ ”
The end came Saturday, when the outfielder informed Twins general manager Terry Ryan of his decision. Murphy said that Ryan couldn’t have been more supportive, even though the Twins lost a catcher on a waiver claim as Ryan cleared a roster spot for Murphy, a Houston native who played college baseball at Baylor.
4 Teams (Red Sox, Rangers, Indians, Angels) David Murphy played for in his career
Murphy, Boston’s first-round pick in 2003, is back at his Tarrant County home. He got all the confirmation he needed that he had made the right call after he told his kids that he was home for good.
“The excitement and the joy on their faces said it all to the point where there’s no way to undo this,” said Murphy, who made his MLB debut in 2006 with Boston. “It’s permanent. If I ever wondered if it was permanent or not, the look on their faces and their reaction sealed the deal.
“It was a hard decision and an easy decision. I’m at home now. I have zero regrets. I know I made the right decision.”