Nationals Sign Daniel Murphy

This one’s a few days late, but I’m sure you all understand with Christmas and all.  The Nationals and Daniel Murphy agreed to a three year contract Thursday.  The deal is worth 37.5M.

Murphy, who turns 31 on April 1, hit .281/.322/.449 with a career-best 14 homers over 538 plate appearances in 2015.  A 13th-round pick for the Mets in the 2006 draft, Murphy developed into a very solid big leaguer who has posted 12.2 fWAR/9.6 bWAR over the last five years.  Mets fans will forever remember Murphy’s contributions in the 2015 postseason, as he posted a whopping 1.462 OPS and seven home runs over 39 PA in the NLDS and NLCS, a performance that earned him the NLCS MVP Award.  Murphy became the first player in baseball history to homer in six consecutive postseason games.

In Murphy, the Nationals add a player who provides good pop for a middle infielder and also a versatile defender who play third, first and (on a limited basis) left as well as the keystone.  In fact, according to metrics like UZR/150 and Defensive Runs Saved, second base is actually Murphy’s worst defensive position.  Since Anthony Rendon can also play both second and third, it’s possible the Nats could use Murphy at the hot corner.

I suppose this means the Westboro Baptist church will be shopping for some hats with curly W’s.

9 thoughts on “Nationals Sign Daniel Murphy

  1. The Nats have been determined to move Rendon to third for reasons that escape me. He’s a superior defender at second, even elite by some metrics, and has a far better bat than Murphy. If you can get that kind of production out of second base you should take it.


    1. He has trouble staying healthy and has had multiple serious ankle injuries. They likely think he may be able to stay healthier if he isn’t subjected to so many runners trying to take him out below the knees.


      1. If his injuries were incurred on defense that would make some sense. He’s only 25 and four years from free agency. They are basically tossing a horrible defender into his position in the hope that it will help them, what? Whatever they hope, it won’t be worth it.


        1. It makes sense anyway. Injury risk is injury risk. 2B have are at greater risk of lower body injuries than 3B.

          Sure, he may get injured anyway…but that is no reason to put him at the 2nd most dangerous defensive position.


      2. I don’t agree. By that standard teams should only be playing defensive wizards who are scrubs with the bat at second, and always moving elite offensive second basement off the position. Same goes for shortstops.

        The years when second basemen decline, typically the 30’s, don’t actually matter in this case, he’ll be a free agent at 29. Not taking advantage of a power bat who happens to be a very good defender at a premium position is always a bad call.


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