Washington Nationals Reportedly Sign Daniel Murphy to Three Year Deal

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The Washington Nationals have reportedly agreed on a three year deal with former New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy.

The wait is finally over. The Nats have found the second baseman they have been labeled to have been searching for since the start of the offseason. According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, the Nationals agreed to terms with All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy, pending a physical.

Murphy finished 2015 hitting .281/.322/.449 with 14 home runs, 38 doubles, 73 RBIs, and 56 runs scored in 130 games. He played an integral part in the Mets’ playoff run, hitting seven home runs in nine games between the NLDS and NLCS before falling apart in the World Series.

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As a left-handed hitter, Daniel Murphy will provide protection in the lineup for reigning MVP Bryce Harper that it so desperately needed in 2015. While considered one of the worst defensive second basemen in the league, it will be interesting to see whether his offense makes up for his lack of defensive output.

The 30-year old veteran wrapped up his seventh season in the majors in 2015, making his first postseason appearance a season following his sole All-Star campaign. Murphy typically does not walk very often, and has brought down his strikeout numbers to a relatively low total as well. No one is expecting a power surge quite like his playoff performance last October, but it would be reasonable to assume 10+ home runs and 35+ doubles.

After the disappointment that was the Washington Nationals’ 2015 season, Mike Rizzo and Co. have worked this offseason to fill the holes left by departing free agents. While many high-profile free agents have elected to sign with other teams despite receiving higher offers from the Nats, Murphy is most likely a Plan B. In addition, Washington will be forced to give up their No. 18 overall pick, as Murphy rejected the Mets’ qualifying offer following the season.

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Per Bowman, Murphy has signed a three year deal, cementing a starting role with Washington alongside star prospect Trea Turner at short for the near future. His acquisition does create a bit of a mess to deal with in the infield, leaving either Turner or Danny Espinosa out of a starting job come Opening Day.

With Murphy’s signing, the Nats are now left at a crossroads. They now have a left-handed bat, but could benefit from signing a fourth outfielder. It does, however, open doors to the right-handed market, whether cheap or expensive. Names such as Austin Jackson could prove to be enticing to Washington.

All in all, the Nats signed a capable hitter with below-average defensive skills. While this signing won’t make or break their season in 2016, it certainly could prove to be a piece to the puzzle that returns the NL East crown to the nation’s capital.

Update: According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLB Network, Murphy will get $37.5 million over three years if he passes his physical:

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