With the Washington Nationals season in limbo, they may look to make waiver trades this month. Daniel Murphy was claimed by an unknown team on Sunday.
Despite the non-waiver trade deadline passing at the end of July, the Washington Nationals can still make deals. One could be in the works, as on Monday night, it was reported that second baseman Daniel Murphy had been claimed off of revocable trade waivers.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote in his latest article about the New York Yankees that they had missed out on Murphy. This means that someone else has claimed him, and if only the Yankees have been ruled out, it leaves a lot of options.
With the way revocable waiver claims work, teams in the same league get priority over the opposite league. Therefore all National League teams are in play and everyone in the American League is as well, except the Boston Red Sox and aforementioned Yankees.
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An American League team may be the best fit for Murphy, which would allow him to be the DH and not play the field. Nats fans have seen, even more so of late, that he can no longer play a serviceable second base. While he could easily handle first base, not many contenders have a need there.
Two AL West contenders in the Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros are both potential fits for the Nats infielder. The A’s could shift primary DH Khris Davis to the outfield, freeing up DH for Matt Olson or Murphy as they see fit on a given night.
The Astros, on the other hand, have a lot of versatility in their infield and could make room at first base or DH for Murphy should they claim him.
The NL is a bit murkier, but teams such as the Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago Cubs or a surprise team like the Colorado Rockies may have made a move.
What happens next?
In terms of the next steps now that we know a team has made a claim for Daniel Murphy, that team essentially can exclusively negotiate a trade with the Nationals for roughly 48 hours. If they can’t work out a trade, then they have two options.
The first is simply send Murphy to the claiming team, and they pick up the rest of his salary for this year. Or the Nats pull him back from waivers and they keep him the rest of the season.
Given Murphy’s recent performances with the bat, it’s unlikely they would simply let him go for nothing. So it depends on how much the claiming team wants him as to whether he moves or not.
Overall, a trade doesn’t seem overly likely for the second baseman, as the Nats would’ve just put him out there to gauge interest. But if an AL team wants him badly enough to offer a reasonable prospect, then something could happen.
The Washington Nationals could potentially put the cat among the pigeons if they make a deal this month. It seems unlikely, given they would want something in return, but never say never with these deals.