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Twins land lefty prospect Moya from D-backs

Minnesota sends catcher Murphy to Arizona in trade
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

LOS ANGELES -- After acquiring catcher Anthony Recker from the Braves in the trade that sent lefty Jaime Garcia to the Twins on Monday, Minnesota pulled off another swap Thursday, getting Minor League reliever Gabriel Moya from the D-backs in exchange for catcher John Ryan Murphy.

Moya, ranked as Arizona's No. 25 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, is a left-hander with eye-popping numbers at Double-A, posting a 0.82 ERA with 68 strikeouts, 12 walks and just one homer allowed in 43 2/3 innings.

LOS ANGELES -- After acquiring catcher Anthony Recker from the Braves in the trade that sent lefty Jaime Garcia to the Twins on Monday, Minnesota pulled off another swap Thursday, getting Minor League reliever Gabriel Moya from the D-backs in exchange for catcher John Ryan Murphy.

Moya, ranked as Arizona's No. 25 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, is a left-hander with eye-popping numbers at Double-A, posting a 0.82 ERA with 68 strikeouts, 12 walks and just one homer allowed in 43 2/3 innings.

The 22-year-old is a former starter who possesses a four-pitch mix, allowing him to be effective against both righties and lefties. Right-handers are batting .128/.188/.165 against Moya this year, while lefties aren't faring much better at .200/.289/.300. He possesses an average fastball, but he has an above-average changeup to go along with a slider and a curveball.

Moya has served as closer this season, recording 17 saves. But with his lack of top-end velocity, he projects more as a left-handed setup man in the Majors. That's a big need for the Twins, who don't have much depth among lefty relievers beyond Taylor Rogers. Moya is expected to head to Double-A Chattanooga, but he could make his Major League debut as early as this season.

Murphy, meanwhile, has struggled offensively since being traded from the Yankees for outfielder Aaron Hicks before the 2016 season. He batted .146/.193/.220 in 26 games with Minnesota last year, and he has played at Triple-A Rochester this season. Murphy hit .222/.298/.330 with four homers and 27 RBIs in 59 games in Triple-A this year. Murphy, though, is known more for his defense.

But with catchers Jason Castro, Chris Gimenez, prospect Mitch Garver and Recker on the 40-man roster, Murphy became expendable. Garver and Recker will serve as the catchers at Triple-A, with the 26-year-old Garver in the midst of a strong season offensively, hitting .281/.387/.539 with 15 homers and 41 RBIs in 72 games.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Gabriel Moya, John Ryan Murphy