David Murphy 'leaning toward' retiring if unsigned by MLB team

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Veteran outfielder David Murphy's cellphone rang twice in a four-minute span Monday. He could only hope that was a good sign.

Minutes earlier, the Boston Red Sox informed Murphy they weren't going to add him to their major league roster, an unsurprising decision that triggered the opt-out clause in his contract. At his request, Murphy was granted his release and is free to sign with any team.

One problem: Murphy didn't generate much interest in the offseason, even though he batted .283 with 10 homers and a .739 OPS in 132 games last year for the Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Angels.

"I hope there's offers out there," Murphy said. "I think there will be. But obviously there's no guarantee. We'll see."

In his final spring-training game for the Red Sox, Murphy, 34, entered in the eighth inning and went 0-for-1 with a walk in a 5-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, who coincidentally are believed to be interested in him as an alternative to struggling left fielder Hyun Soo Kim.

Overall, Murphy went 9-for-34 (.265) with three doubles this spring. But the Red Sox have a crowded outfield that includes Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rusney Castillo, Chris Young and super-utilityman Brock Holt.

"I didn't go out and light it up, but I think I did enough to prove that I'm capable," Murphy said. "I think as a man you're disappointed because you go into a situation and, as an athlete, I'm a competitor. You never want to go in the manager's office and [hear] that you've been released. But I think there's a lot of positives to it still. Maybe there's a little bit of disappointment, but I'm not distraught in any way. I think my career will move forward from here. Like I said, we'll see."

Murphy is a career .274 hitter with 104 homers in 1,110 games for the Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Indians and Angels. He played in back-to-back World Series for the Rangers in 2010-11.

The Red Sox offered Murphy a chance to go to Triple-A. At this point, though, he said he's focused on playing in the big leagues and would consider retirement before he goes back to the minors.

"Being at the point where I am, I'm 34 years old, I haven't played in the minor leagues since 2007, I have four kids now, I'm kind of pulled in a lot of different directions," Murphy said. "I think if I didn't get a big league job I would say that my mindset is leaning toward retirement. Hopefully that's not even going to be part of the process, because hopefully I'll get a big league job pretty easily."