Washington Nationals: Trade Profile Daniel Murphy
By Max Rayman
Next up for our trade profiles is our old pal, Daniel Murphy. Would a reunion make sense?
With our first trade profile piece, we went over the Baltimore Orioles star, Hanser Alberto. This time around, we will be looking at a power bat that would help the middle of the lineup. Former Nat and current Colorado Rockie, Daniel Murphy fits the bill.
Trade Target: Daniel Murphy
Position: First/Second Base/DH
Team: Colorado Rockies
Why This Trade Makes Sense
From 2016-2018, Daniel Murphy was a key contributor to the Washington Nationals lineup. Over his two and a half years with the team, Murphy hit .329, with 54 homers, and 226 RBIs. After joining Washington, the 35-year-old took his game to the next year, immediately finishing second in the 2016 NL MVP voting. Murphy’s bat was instrumental in the team winning the NL East in 2016 and 2017. Unfortunately, he was shipped out at the 2018 trade deadline due to the team falling out of playoff contention. Entering the 2019 season, Murphy signed with the Rockies but missed a portion of the season due to injuries. However, he is fully healthy and back to his old self.
In 17 games this season, he is hitting .333, with three homers, 13 RBIs, and an OPS of .882. He has a wRC+ of 125, which according to Fangraphs is above average. The Nationals offense has been inconsistent all season and needs a serious boost. Murphy would be a perfect fit for a multitude of reasons. First, he was a fan favorite and clubhouse leader while with the club. Murphy would be welcomed back with open arms and wouldn’t put the locker room at risk. Second, he can play multiple infield positions as well as DH. This would allow for the Nats to rest Murphy when needed so his body doesn’t fall apart. Third, his current production would be a great boost to an offense that entered Sunday’s play 23rd in runs scored (85), 22nd in RBIs (83), and 22nd in home runs (23).
Why It Wouldn’t
Similar to the Hanser Alberto case, the Colorado Rockies are off to a hot start, and trading away Murphy could set the team back. After going 71-91 in 2019, the Rockies are 13-8 and are only two games behind the Dodgers for first place in the NL West. While the Rockies are unlikely to overtake the Dodgers, with the expanded playoffs for the current season, Colorado is already in a great position to make the playoffs. Why risk that? The face of the franchise Nolan Arenado wants to win now and has an opt-out after the 2021 season. While Murphy is no longer the player he once was, he is still a reliable hitter, and getting rid of his bat would be a mistake. Colorado needs to do everything in its power to win now and prove to Arenado to stay for the duration of his contract.
Also, Murphy is in the second year of his two year deal, but that deal does include a mutual option. Washington’s front office will need to decide if it’s worth it to trade for a rental with Muphy’s injury history.
Is It Possible?
Washington has the draft capital and because Murphy’s contract is prorated, the team could still sit below the luxury tax.
Projected Trade Offer
Washington receives: Daniel Murphy
Colorado receives: Cole Henry, James Bourque