Cubs Acquire Daniel Murphy from Nationals

Welp, didn’t take long for me to be proven wrong on the Daniel Murphy front.

According to multiple sources, the Cubs have indeed brokered a deal that will send minor league infielder Andruw Monasterio, along with cash or a player to be named later, to the Nats for Murphy.

The light-hitting Monasterio slashed .263/.359/.336 in 109 games for high-A Myrtle Beach. He’s only 21 and still has a lot of time to develop, but this isn’t a steep cost from a pure talent perspective. As for the cash or the additional player, only time will tell.

Murphy missed over two months at the beginning of the season recovering from knee surgery and struggled in his first month back. Through July 14 (96 PA), he was slashing .244/.302/.326 with a 69 wRC+ and a .277 wOBA. None of that is good.

But in 111 subsequent plate appearances, he is hitting .340/.369/.528 with a 137 wRC+ and .379 wOBA. He’s also a lefty batter who can play first and second base and who crushes right-handed pitching, big benefits for a team that has seen a big drop in power this season. And if the Cubs believe Murphy can even play a little third base over the remainder of Kris Bryant’s absence, that’s another mark in his favor.

Beyond what this move says about their roster, the Cubs are going to have to address the addition in terms of how it impacts a good number of their fans. I shared more thoughts on that in a previous piece, and some of those are below, but I have no doubt others can, have, and will speak more eloquently and passionately about the topic.

Many more are unable and unwilling to take leave of their personal beliefs or better judgement for the sake of their sports team. So when Murphy said of homosexuality that he “disagree[s] with the lifestyle, 100 percent,” that is naturally going to be a problem for a lot of people. He went on to further explain his stance at the time, but the agree/disagree part is at the crux of the issue.

When you’re talking about a team that plays its games in a very LGBTQ+ friendly neighborhood and that boasts the first openly gay owner of a professional sports franchise, you can maybe see how this is about more than just what happens on the field. Then again, the Cubs have previously allowed performance to override certain, er, personality conflicts.

This is certainly going to provide for some interesting conversation over the next few days. Or weeks.

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