Nationals Begin Teardown, Trade Daniel Murphy To Cubs
The Nationals chose to hold serve at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, with general manager Mike Rizzo telling reporters, “I believe in this team.”
Instead, they went 9-10 following their GM’s vote of confidence, and now are being torn down.
The Nationals traded Daniel Murphy to the Cubs on Tuesday, receiving second base prospect Andruw Monasterio in return. They also traded Matt Adams to the Cardinals in exchange for cash.
The two trades essentially serve as the Nationals waving the white flag on the 2018 season. They entered the day with a 62-63 record, six and half games back of the second National League wild card, and coming off a humiliating 12-1 loss the Marlins.
Daniel Murphy, 2B
Murphy missed more than two months of the season after undergoing right knee surgery, but he has hit .340 since the All-Star break, resuming his status as one of the game’s top hitters. Murphy memorably tormented the Cubs in the 2015 National League Championship Series, batting .529 with four homers and six RBIs for the Mets en route to NLCS MVP honors. Now he joins the North Sider’s large collection of second basemen who can hit—joining Javier Baez, Ben Zobrist, Ian Happ and David Bote—as well as provide a secondary option at first base. Murphy is signed through the end of this season and will be a free agent entering 2019.
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Andruw Monasterio, 2B/SS
Monasterio is an aggressive, undersized (he’s generously listed at 6-foot, 175 pounds) middle infielder who plays with energy and enthusiasm. He’s an above-average runner with gap power and solid bat speed, which allows him to make contact and put the ball in play. He’s athletic enough to play shortstop, but he mostly played second base this year in deference to Aramis Ademan at high Class A Myrtle Beach. Monasterio doesn’t project to hit for power—he has six home runs in five professional seasons—and his ability to rise will depend on his continued ability to make contact and handle the middle infield defensively.