The Cubs have officially acquired veteran infielder Daniel Murphy from the Nationals, per announcements from both clubs. Prospect Andruw Monasterio is headed to D.C. in the deal, with the Nationals also sending an undisclosed amount of cash to Chicago.
Murphy was claimed on revocable trade waivers, so the Nationals had the option of pulling him back or allowing the Cubs to take over his contract without receiving compensation. Instead, the sides worked out the cash to enable the Washington organization to acquire the young infielder. It is still not known precisely how the sides have divvied up Murphy’s remaining salary obligations. He’s earning $17.5MM on the season, with just under $4MM left to be paid.
Having previously received a qualifying offer, Murphy would not have been eligible for one this winter from the Nationals. That surely helped convince the team to do the deal. Still, it’s perhaps a bit surprising that the club did not wait to see whether its fortunes might turn over the next week of play.
Instead, the Nationals are more or less throwing in the towel on a disastrous 2018 season — in the sense, at least, that they aren’t valuing their prospects this year in assessing player transactions. While the club remains on the fringes of contention, it has failed to capitalize on several opportunities of late to make up ground. There’s still enough talent on the roster (and more still working back from the DL) that a late run can’t be ruled out entirely, but additional swaps could still further deplete the MLB talent pool and today’s deals unquestionably dent the Nats’ immediate outlook quite substantially.
By moving Murphy now, the organization was able to acquire Monasterio, who Baseball America recently tabbed as an increasingly interesting young player. The 21-year-old Venezuelan has spent the season at the High-A level, where he carries a .263/.359/.336 slash with three home runs and ten steals — as well as an impressive combination of 52 walks and 64 strikeouts — over 436 plate appearances. Monasterio has mostly lined up at second base this year but has spent most of his prior professional time at shortstop.
Murphy was among several high-priced Nationals players slated to reach the open market at season’s end, so this is likely a precursor to further dealmaking. Indeed, the club has already made a move on fellow left-handed slugger Matt Adams. Other pending free agents could also be moved, though superstar Bryce Harper will not be among them and there’s no indication that the team will move controllable assets.
It’s certainly also an interesting strike from the Cubs’ perspective. Murphy is as polished a hitter as any in baseball, as the Chicago organization well knows from its memorable postseason encounters with him in recent seasons. He has bounced back from offseason knee surgery, and a slow start upon his mid-season return, to produce excellent results over the past six weeks. Since the start of July, Murphy carries a .336/.379/.893 slash with six home runs and an 11:11 K/BB ratio over 153 plate appearances.
For a Cubs organization that has had some offensive issues of late, the lineup will get a big boost when Murphy is in it. Presumably, the club will play Murphy mostly at second base while utilizing Javier Baez quite frequently at short. Addison Russell will likely see his playing time cut back in that event, though in all likelihood he’ll still get time against lefties and in late-game situations when defense is a priority. Despite his increasingly compelling form at the plate, after all, Murphy has never been regarded as a quality defender or baserunner and has struggled quite a bit in both areas this year.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Craig Mish of Sirius XM reported on Twitter that the Cubs had claimed Murphy and that a deal was being worked out. Robert Murray of The Athletic (via Twitter) reported that a deal was struck. Jon Heyman of Fancred (Twitter links) reported the return.
Very interesting …. is gonna play 3b? Does russel become a platoon and Baez moved to SS full time? All I can from a fantasy perspective is he better play everyday
Yeah, it really shakes their infield up quite a bit.
Russell has been dealing with a hand issue the last month or two, so I assume this means he’s going on the DL, Javy goes to SS for the time being and Murphy/Zo plays 2B
Exactly. I too suspect Russell to DL
Considering Zo’s average I have no idea how this works out unless Bryant is done for the year?
I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion Bryant’s done for the year, but I do think he’s done until September and they have a long slog to get through this month.
It sounds like Addison’s been playing with pain, so he probably goes on the DL or at least rides the bench and just comes in as a defensive replacement late in games. That shifts Javy to short, and Bote/Murphy/Zobrist can platoon at 2nd and 3rd for a while. Even when KB comes back, they’re not going to want to over-extend him or Ben.
It may lead to a bit of a crowded lineup when the playoffs come, but there are worse problems.
Murphy at 2B and Baez at SS makes the most sense IMO
Daniel Hits Murphy
That’s his middle name, according to FP santangelo
At least he can’t destroy them in the playoffs now.
This spells bad news for Bryant I think though, unfortunately.
Are you soft as puppy crap
Maybe, maybe not. The difference between being first in the NL and completely out of the postseason is, like, 3 games right now. Cubs desperately need every win they can get their paws on. Even if KB is back in two weeks that’s still a big chunk of games.
That’s right. The Cardinals might catch the Cubs before September at this rate.
Murphy is a huge pickup for them, absolutely shocked no one further up the waiver wire put in for him. Even just to block. I love my cards but they blew this one. And murphy kills the cards. And is awesome in the playoffs
Its not bad news for Bryant at all
i hate my father
Bryant is hitting in batting cages pain free as of today, he is due back when the roster expands. This trade has nothing to do with Bryant and everything to do, how brutal this offense has been since the ASB
This tells me they are either benching Addison Russell or Kris Bryant’s shoulder rehab is not progressing.
Russell will go to DL. Hand injury for a while. Hasn’t effected his fielding but has effected his bat
Or simply they looked up and saw Daniel Murphy available for nothing and said, “hey, thanks”. Bote back to the minors for a week and a half and then they reload on September 1 with Bryant, Bote, Gore, and about six relief pitchers.
Ah the instant speculation. Can’t wait to see if it was just a salary dump or if Nats got anything.
How did he make it to the cubs? Dbacks, Rockies, could’ve used him.
And what about the cards and brewers, why didn’t they at least block the cubs?
A team can’t just block another team. Once a team claims a player the team has 48 hours to either give him away or trade him, or keep him
Or the team pulls them off waivers. Teams put in claims to block them from getting farther down the order all the time.
I suppose it depends on what you mean by “just.” Teams can and absolutely do claim players with the sole intent to block other teams from getting him and with no intention whatsoever of actually trying to acquire the player. It’s risky in the sense that the other team can just go “cool, he’s yours now!” and you got played, but it doesn’t stop teams from doing it.
Sure they can. If they have priority, they put in the claim first without any intent to work anything out. This only backfires if the team says ok and gives the player away ni compensation.
It does move the team down to the bottom of the priority list for waiver claims, but such moves happen all the time. Please learn a little about waiver claims before asserting incorrect statements.
No it doesn’t move teams down to the bottom of the priority list for waiver claims! You need to change your name to “Dumb21” if you are going to post stuff like that.
Before calling someone else dumb, you should learn to tell the difference between a Z and a 2.
Didn’t you say there no way he’s going to the Cubs on the other post. Now who’s dumb.
The Brewers and Cards are for not blocking the Cubs from trading for Murphy and you are for saying that the Phillies would trade for Machado, that trading Harper would hurt the Nats’ chances of signing him and that the Yankees were the only team willing to overpay Aroldis Chapman.
@thecoffinnail point taken. He’s still a moron for saying that claiming a player moves you to the bottom of the priority list. Seriously where do people come up with that crap?
Of course a team could have blocked the Cubs. All they had to do was put in claim and not trade for him.
And be willing to absorb the $4,000,000.00 that is still payable to Murphy this year. It was a strong possibility that Washington may have just let him go for the savings. It’s “only” $4MM when it’s not your money.
$4m for Murphy is nothing. And if the Nats were willing to dump his contract they would have just done it. They wouldn’t have asked for a prospect in return.
Yes they can block another team. If a deal isn’t worked out within 48 hours and the player’s original team doesn’t decide to just dump the player’s contract they have to pull him back from waivers and can’t put him on waivers for the remainder of the season. The Dodgers claimed Harper for precisely this reason.
Mendoza Line 215
I could be wrong Redrooster but I think that the team can put the player on waivers a second time but then they are irrevocable.
Correct. But this is rare
Washington pulled back Harper because they will get a pick when they offer him a QO and he turns it down. No such reason for Murphy, as he can’t be given a QO, he walks for nothing at the end of the season.
I don’t get the D’Backs not getting him but the Rockies don’t need him.
Just wondering, where do you think the Rockies would put him? Don’t need him in infield unless he makes jump to 1B.
Yeah I was thinking 1b. His defense has been consistently abysmal at 2nd and it might be better for him to play 1st anyway.
Not that I’m sad they passed on him. I’m a Giants fan.
Right? Cards claimed Matt Adams… What can Adams do that Murphy can’t?
Maybe the Cards just wanted a guy familiar with the system and clubhouse? I’m not sure just guessing.
I bet he takes over for Greg Garcia at a pinch hitter that’s all
Do you think Carpenter will see time at 3B or 2B to get Adams in the lineup more often?
No…I think the Cardinals like gryko at third and Carp at first…Shildt believes in the philosophy of players knowing their role and consistency…Adams I believe will be purely a Pinch hitter
Ah sorry, posted this just before the article about Adams to the cards was published.
Play for about $4mm less and provide similar value in a bench role.
Where would he play for the Dbacks? Marte is playing well at 2B. Ahmed is playing well & is one of the best SS in the field. Escobar was just acquired to play 3b. Bench bat?
The Dbacks are already well above their record payroll & spending $4 mil for a part time bench bat doesn’t seem like a possibility.
Where will they put him??
Cubs going to the Series after this move. The NL is pretty weak. No one is stopping them.
Cub “fans” said the same thing after Darvish signed.
And the Cubs have the best record in the NL, so there’s that….
lol!!! and the best record in the NL with all teams bunched up. i love cubs fans.
Mathematically challenged wishful thinkers like Sox fans are funnier.
Yes the Cardinals can and will stop them. Cardinals are the hottest team in baseball.
There’s almost 40 games left lol. Relax, Homer.
Per Baseball References’ game logs…
Daniel Murphy since July 1:
.893 OPS since July 1, after coming back from major knee surgery this offseason on June 12.
Addison Russell has been playing hurt since July 1, over same timeframe he’s slashed:
.213/.272/.272 (.544 OPS).
Pretty big acquisition.
That was super fast… Harper should be dealt soon as well
Nope. More valuable when he turns down qualifying offer and they get a draft pick.
I think it’s the same type of pick… right?
I don’t know why some fans have put such a high value on comp picks the last few years. They are basically just a lottery pick just like low level prospects. The difference is the established prospect has already played a little pro ball and has shown somewhat how their abilities will transfer to the pro’s. Unless you get a top 10-15 pick in the draft it’s just a crapshoot on how good the player chosen will be and if that player comes straight out of high school without any college experience they are even less likely to become anything in MLB. Personally, I would prefer to have the known prospect you could get for trading someone like Harper than a roll of the dice comp pick.
The draft pick the Nationals would receive if Harper turns down a qualifying offer and signs elsewhere is likely more valuable than any prospect they would receive in a trade today.
Surprised he made it all the way to them…
Who is gone from the Cubs to make room?
Ask again I love the question . We got Daniel Freakin Murphy!!
Bote for 9 days……then right back on September 1
Sad to see this happen. Great team player who helped Nats a ton when healthy.
Rizzo should resign after this season. His screw up when not going after a top closer since close if 2016 & all 2017 plus his clubhouse rant w closer disasters, is main reason for the downfall of Nats – who were favs to be in NLCS in 2018.
Clean up this disaster ! Sign Bryce and keep top rookies.
Rizzo gave this team MORE than enough talent to compete and win the NL pennant…The players just didn’t back him up, and the bullpen has been misused..I wouldn’t solely put the blame on Rizzo…He added a ton of talent to the bullpen, again the players just didn’t perform up to expectations…
I agree he should have gone after a legit closer, rather than relying on Doolittle, Glover, Madsen, etc., but he gave them a bunch of good pieces…
It wasn’t ALL that long ago he basically stole away Trea Turner, Kelvin Herrera, etc. among making other great trades, and Gnats fans were calling Rizzo the best GM in the game…
I know their “fans” need someone to blame for their season, but the weight shouldn’t fall directly on Rizzo..Rizzo is an awesome GM, that has helped Washington A LOT more than he’s hurt them..No one can deny that, and if you do, you should seriously reconsider following baseball..
I completely agree. From 2016 on, if you asked any GM if he would like to trade all the players in his franchise (so including minor leaguers) with the Nats about 25 of them would have said yes. On paper, this team looks awesome, and the farm system is still above average despite the fact that they have been in contention for a long time.
What could Rizzo have done to save them this season? He got the team a good closer and after that it only got worse.
Rizzo has been good, but where does the buck stop ? Remember Steinbrenner times? Sorry kind hearts finish last. For TOP teams, Winning the World Series is the only goal and step towards it! Falling short so many years not passing the 1st round playoffs and this debacle with closers for 3 years is on Rizzo. Add to that almost brawl w Kelly in the locker room, the non action at the trade deadline and NOW he unloads Murphy and Adams ? I’m sorry but time to change ! Owners need to move or we turn into another Wash has been team!
Wow, can’t believe he made it all the way to the cubbies. Cards settled on Adams instead? Strange
I like matt Adam’s for the cards, but they should have claimed murphy too. Huge upgrade over Garcia, or could have put murphy at first. Cards blew this one. Where are the Dodgers, or Colorado at on murphy? Surprised he made it to the Cubs. Congrats Cubs. I think it will be hard for the cards to catch you now with murphy and hamels.
Baez to 3B, Murphy to 2B.. IF Bryant comes back, play him in RF, move Heyward to CF.
Remember when it was just the Brewers who had too many infielders….
I do agree with you, with the slight difference that most of the Cubs IFs have played OF as well (like Bryant, Zo, and Happ). But your point is still valid.
Quality IFs being the key. Schoop isn’t quality and Shaw isn’t an IF.
Did you say Shaw isn’t an IF? I guess 3B for his entire career doesn’t count.
Shaw is a lousy infielder. At any position. 2B, 3B….but you know that already, you’ve seen his work.
Difference is that none of Murphy, Russell, Baez, Bryant nor Bote will be playing an infield position where they are really bad defensively. See: Schoop at short or Shaw at 2nd or short. Granted Murphy isn’t gold glove close like Baez or Russell, but that’s the difference.
Where does 300 hitting Zo play? Maybe Baez to SS, Bryant at 3B, Murphy to 2B Zo to… right? Heyward to center.
KB isn’t that great in RF. When he’s in the lineup. He needs to be at 3B. I will say that the Cubs offense is absolutely loaded now with Rizzo, KB, Contreras, Caratini, Baez, Murphy, Russell, Bote, Schwarber, Happ, Zobrist, Heyward, and Almora. IMO, I think Murphy just replaces LaStella.
Almora has hit .296/.337/.408 (compared to Heyward’s .281/.345/.408_ with better defense than Heyward.
Not really much of an upgrade
Russell we either be on the DL or bench. Hitting .217 since the All Star break. Word is he’s been playing through an injury
The Cub killer cometh
Why did the Cardinals and Brewers let him pass through without a waiver claim? They could have claimed him and not made a deal for him at least. Seems like they got lazy.
If they claimed him and the Nats simply let him go like they did Adams, they’d be on the hook for the remaining $4M on his contract.
Would that really be so bad?
Why? Because David Stearns is a second-rate GM, that’s why. He’s sold his fan base on having a ML pipeline but it lacks difference makers. BA just rated it 22nd overall….that’s telling. And Stearns is left with egg on his face for dealing reasonable talent (not difference making talent) to acquire Schoop who can’t play while the Cubs get Murphy for peanuts.
Knew it wasn’t gonna be the Tribe.
this does nothing for the cubs except push lastella out. zobrist should be at 2b ft and baez at ss. bryant is probably out the year. this also makes the defense to the right side pretty bad.
Wrong. Obviously you arent in-tune with the team.
Rizzo is a bad fielder? That’s news to me. I mean he’s not diving to second for line drives or anything
Not a big Cub fan but this is a very good move for them. They needed a proven contact hitter and they just landed one of the best
I wonder if this has anything to do with Bryant coming off DL? I understand Bryant can slot in left or right fairly easy.
Interesting pick up. Just wish they had a “good” pitching logjam.
Wahoo What a Finish!
HA! The Nats received pennies on the dollar in return for Adams and Murphy. Let that be a lesson to clubs in the future… it’s usually better to sell when the price is highest on July 31st rather than “go for it.”
It’s the return of Murphy the Goat!
I’m shocked Milwaukee didn’t want another infielder
Rizzo is the one who needs to go! One stud pitcher, one who’s on the DL 50% of the time, two who are just plain inconsistent at best, and you have nothing coming up in the forseeable future. Guess it wasn’t the managers who couldn’t win in playoffs, it was a loser GM
The criticism of Rizzo is hysterical. If he resigns, as has been suggested here, at Noon tomorrow, he’ll have a 5 year contract to run another team by 5PM tomorrow. Clearly he’s one of the top 5 GMs in the game. Ya, he’s had his problems with regard to managers, tho I suspect ownership had something to do with that.
He’s had his misses. I’d list the Great God Theo’s misses but there isn’t enough room in the response box…….
Ya, maybe he waited too long, but on July 31 he thought they had a shot. Neither the Braves nor Phillies are “super teams”. So now he reacts as all good GMs do.
Rizzo needs to resign or owners step up and be like Steinbrenner was – goal is World Series or bust- 5 seasons by Rizzo not making it past 1st round, plus manager revolving doors, closing pitching a disaster since 2016, 3 starters are done. and he doesn’t deal at deadline but now unloads Murphy etc? Remember the deal for A Eaton – gave up top prospects for? Wow!
How much more?
If Harper can stay great but Keep Rendón, Soto, Turner, Max , Matt, everyone else is expendable ! Build up fast
Are Bote, KB and Zobrist dead?
Russell pretty much is
Hes hurt 213/272/272 since July 1, per baseball reference.
Expect him to hit the DL
Russell is in the lineup tonight @SS
Yeah… and Murphy is still in Washington right now. What’s your point?
Yeah, he’ll remain in the lineup just like he has since July 1 because his team needs his defense.
But once they get a longterm, reliable reinforcement, I’d imagine they would want to get his hand healthy.
His slash was .286/.358/.407 for a .765 OPS before the injury.
Russell scratched for tonight BTW
This team needs OFFENSE. Javy is more than capable of making great plays at shortstop. If Murphy can come in and light up on offense, then he needs to be in the lineup every single day.
He’s a playoff-tested veteran that could slug. That’s exactly what this team needs. I can’t bare to watch another pitcher-like at bat of Russell or Happ.
These two shouldn’t even see the field until next war, when we aren’t in a tight playoff race. They are completely lost at the plate.
Looks like Nats are going to start blowing up team. After 6 years of being contenders in NL East, its rebuilding time. Braves and Phillies will fight for division. Only thing is Phillies have lots of money to spend and will go after Harper and Machado. next year.
Nats aren’t rebuilding. They’ll be looking to contend next season
How many playoff series have they won under the great Rizzo. Let him go elsewhere. Won’t have to worry about that team in the playoffs!
Rizzo most overrated GM. Tons of mangers, great players, 0 playoff series wins.
You’re dead on about Rizzo. Everyone kisses his butt, but his butt is always on the couch watching the series! A good GM gets you to the playoffs, a great GM wins the series once in a while
He overtook jim hendry as the worst gm of all time.
Not even jon hart is on hendry level bad.
As a Brewers fan for 35 years, Stearns’ incompetence is reaching Sal Bando levels. He must be fired, immediately ideally.
He has totally misjudged the market for SP, OF, and 2B over the last year. It’s almost like an ivy league polsci degree isn’t great preparation to be an mlb gm.
Come on Mark.
Finally, a Brewers fan that gets it. And you can take Counsell with you. His handling of the bullpen is going to cost them not only in 2018 but 2019 as well…unless anyone believes how he’s handled Hader is going to allow Hader to continue to be a difference maker going forward. That’s pretty goofy.
Meanwhile, the Cubs’ rotation still stinks…
Thank you Theo and Hoyer and Mr Ricikki plus D C G M Rizzo this is the finale straw that gets the Cubs over the fence Biggest Cub killer since Albert Pujus Cubs Win now and in the future with this trade and Hamel cut are losswith Chatwood it’s all in NOW.
Well, at least there was one period in that mess of a post.
I got a headache attempting to read that
You taking too many meds, man? Slow down on the dosage. Breathe.
You would think he would go to a playoff team.
It’s great that the Cubs have an envious stockpile of young, cost controlled position players. But many of them are still developing, Russell included. Which is fine in May, but now the marathon has become a sprint. To acquire a PROVEN, vet bat will be huge for this lineup and to get him for virtually nothing is really a great move. A career .413 hitter at Wrigley with a rather large sample size (104 ABs) Well done Theo/Jed!
I wonder who’s the odd man out? Especially when KB gets back
Bote, til Sept
No, he’ll threaten to retire if they try to send him down.
Best thing about this trade for the cubs is that Murphy hits .360 with RISP. Something the cubs desperately need.
Russell is definitely going to the bench, sure the D gets a bit worse since russell is arguably the best defensive SS. But he can still come in late if need be, and russell has always seemed to be a decent clutch hitter, so having his bat off the bench doesnt sound so bad..
Bench: Jhey/zobrist(whichever one dont start), bote, La Stella, happ, caratini, Russell.. come playoff time I think theyll all be on the roster. Bote is just too hot. La Stell is the best bench bat in the majors, caratini is the backup catcher, and you have to have zobrist and Russell.
Once KB gets back this lineup will be stacked AF!
I really can’t imagine them putting the potential NL MVP in the 6 spot
When Bryant is back in 7-10 days theres no place for him. Simply a cheap rental. They gave up nothing for him. He’s not replacing anyone. So it’s a neutral trade. Not a downgrade or an upgrade.
Is it too early to break out the old catch phrase: “wait til’ next year”? I think we’re 50/50 at even making the playoffs. We’re .500 team featuring Javy as the franchise player.
Adding Murph is only going to further limit AB’s to guys we need to get hot. Murphy is a great bat and glad he won’t be facing our pitching down the stretch, but will he fall into the rest rotation for the players not named Javy and Anthony.
Can’t blame Bosi this year? Should we blame Joe but spelled with a “K”=joke?
Mendoza Line 215
Joe Madden is one of the best managers in baseball.