This certainly doesn’t bode well for any optimism about the health of various Cubs infielders, but we’ll get to that in a moment, because holy crap:
Source indicates the Chicago Cubs claimed Daniel Murphy from the Nationals. Working out a deal.
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) August 21, 2018
We wrote earlier about the Cubs and Murphy, but I was deeply skeptical unless the Cubs were much more concerned about Addison Russell’s hand and/or Kris Bryant’s shoulder than we’d thought.
UPATE: It’s going down:
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) August 21, 2018
So much to unpack here.
First of all, Murphy, 33, took a long road back from offseason knee surgery, but he seems to have steadied himself back into being a ridiculous hitter once again: 364/.409/.551 (156 wRC+) over last 127 PAs. Although he is quite limited defensively, the bat more than makes up for it. If he’s healthy, Murphy is an extreme impact addition.
Presumably, he’d become the regular second baseman, and Javy Baez would become the regular shortstop. From there, Addison Russell (hand) could go on the disabled list. Then, even when Kris Bryant is ready to return, there’s still a spot for him at third base. And if Russell is well enough to play after that, well, you figure it out when that time comes. As for David Bote and Ben Zobrist, they continue to be some of the best rotational/bench guys on any club.
UPDATE 2: More local confirmation that this is happening:
Confirmed. This is true. RT @CraigMish: Source indicates the Chicago Cubs claimed Daniel Murphy from the Nationals. Working out a deal.
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 21, 2018
UPDATE 3: In the midst of the flurry of updates, I feel compelled to note that, three years ago, Murphy told the world that he disagreed with the “gay lifestyle,” and those comment were rightly ill-received. It is unequivocally unacceptable to suggest that gay men and women are simply deciding to live a gay lifestyle. They are who they are. Period. Murphy has supposedly broadened his thinking since then – thanks to MLB’s Ambassador for Inclusion Billy Bean – but I’m going to want to hear it directly from Murphy.
UPDATE 4: Subsequent reports indicate that this is accurate:
Hearing Andruw Monasterio will be traded to the Nationals. Have no sourcing on the return; my speculation is Murphy. https://t.co/2is2f11bch
— Cubs Prospects (@cubprospects) August 21, 2018
Monasterio is not a nothing prospect – he ranked 31 on our recently-updated prospects list – but Murphy is an impact upgrade, so I can understand why he wouldn’t cost literally nothing, especially if there are financial considerations involved. Murphy is owed about $4 million the rest of the way, which could push the Cubs close to the luxury tax threshold.
UPDATE 5: The Cubs are also including a PTBNL or cash, which usually means a very low-level prospect OR a player who might get selected in December’s Rule 5 Draft:
sources: nats get infielder Andruw Monasterio and cash or ptbnl for Murphy
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 21, 2018
UPDATE 6 (Michael): It’s officially official:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 21, 2018