Why Chicago Cubs must re-sign Daniel Murphy this offseason

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs have thus far reaped the benefits of having three-time all-star Daniel Murphy on their roster.

Daniel Murphy has proven to be the spark the Chicago Cubs needed to get their offense back on track. After searching all season for the perfect leadoff hitter, Joe Maddon has finally found one.

Since joining the Cubs following his departure from the Washington Nationals, Murphy has helped breath new life into an offense that had been tamed for quite some time. He’s already made his presence felt at Wrigley Field, smashing his second home run as a Cub in yesterday’s slug-fest victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

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Leading by example is what Murphy does best. Furthermore, he simply lets his steady bat do all the talking. A player who has a knack for getting timely hits while rarely striking out is making his teammates better just by watching him.

Just like starting pitcher Cole Hamels, Murphy is proving that shining bright on the big stage hardly fazes him. While many Cubs’ hitters have yet to prove themselves to be reliably consistent everyday players, Murphy is exactly that. Which is why the organization should look to re-sign him to a new deal this offseason.

Given the declining play of shortstop Addison Russell, along with the uneven performances of Ian Happ and Kyle Schwarber this season, it’d make plenty of sense for Theo Epstein to re-sign a player with a much more proven track record, despite his age.

Granted, Murphy is 33 years old, but banking on a player that finished second in MVP voting to Kris Bryant in 2016 over players who continue to tease the organization with unfulfilled upside seems like a smarter option for the front office, especially if the price is right.

Murphy is much like another current Cub: Ben Zobrist. While both are in their 30’s, they continue to perform at a high level. Having as many established veteran presences as possible in the clubhouse can only help the Cubs continue to make post-season runs.

Since Cubs’ catcher David Ross retired following the Cubs’ World Series Championship in 2016, the team had for a while been missing a key veteran leadership presence to keep the younger, less-experienced players focused. That all changed this season with the additions of Hamels and Murphy. Both know what it takes to win, as well as how to deal with adversity.

Murphy, in particular, has dealt with the injury bug this season, but that hasn’t stopped him from coming back stronger than ever. He’s someone who knows how to rebound from past struggles, something many players on the Cubs have yet to shake off in their brief careers.

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Epstein has made some poor signings as of late. Pitchers Tyler Chatwood and Yu Darvish have been big-time busts so far. But neither player was performing well when the organization signed them this past offseason.

If Murphy continues carrying his hot hitting throughout the rest of this season, it should be a no-brainer for Epstein to want him back. Especially if he helps deliver another World Series Championship to the North Side of Chicago this November.