Chicago Cubs: Daniel Murphy is headed to the North Side

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

Cubs killer Daniel Murphy is on his way to the windy city after the Chicago Cubs claimed him off of irrevocable waivers from the Washington Nationals.

On Tuesday, the Chicago Cubs claimed and completed a deal for Washington National’s second baseman Daniel Murphy. Throughout his career, Murphy has been known for single-handedly defeating the Cubs in several key playoff spots with the New York Mets and Nationals.

Craig Mish of SiriusXM and Robert Murray from The Athletic were the first to report that a deal between the two teams had been completed.

This deal could be a sign that something more serious is going on injury-wise with Cubs’ infielders — especially Kris Bryant. However, this could also simply be a move of depth to ensure that Joe Maddon has plenty of lineup options come October.

The Cubs also formally announced that Andruw Monasterio would be going back to the Nationals in this deal. Needless to say, it’s an absolute steal of a deal which is to be expected in a trade this late in the season.

This season in 205 PA, Murphy has slashed .300/.341/.442 with 6 HR and 29 RBI. Not typical numbers from someone of Murphy’s history, however, he did have a slow start to the season following offseason knee surgery.

The acquisition of Murphy will provide the Cubs plenty of options during the final stretch of the regular season and into October. With Bryant’s hopeful return in the coming weeks, Maddon will have to make some difficult decisions on who will get the majority of playing time across the infield.

With Addison Russell‘s recent struggles, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that Maddon shifts Javier Baez to play shortstop on a more consistent basis, plugging in Murphy at second base. However, it is more likely that shortstop and second base will continue to be on a per game basis based on opposing pitching with guys like Ben Zobrist and David Bote also swinging hot bats.

One of the perks of the deal comes with Murphy’s contract situation. He is owed approximately $4 million for the duration of the season and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale is reporting that the Nationals will be picking up a portion of that remaining salary.

Following the non-waiver deadline acquisition of Cole Hamels, the Cubs were inching closer to going over the luxury tax threshold for 2018. With the Nationals picking up some of Murphy’s remaining salary, the Cubs should be able to remain safely under the threshold heading into 2019.

This deal was huge for the Cubs in providing a plus contact bat to the roster with lurking power. Murphy has also been heating up over the last 30 days, slashing .343/.375/.545, which will be a perfect addition to a somewhat inconsistent Cubs lineup.

Next. Time to shut down Darvish for the season. dark

If Bryant can return over the next couple of weeks and Murphy continues hitting like he has been, the Cubs’ lineup will be infused with talent and hopefully more consistency that hasn’t been seen for quite some time this season.