The Daniel Murphy signing was first reported on Christmas eve but if there is anything that we’ve learned from this offseason, its to not trust a team acquisition until it is official (see Bud Black, Brandon Phillips, Mike Leake). Overall, Murphy’s 3/37.5 million contract is pretty reasonable monetarily especially when you consider just how dominant he was in the postseason. It seemed like every time you watched one of his at-bats, he would blast the ball out of the park and his NLCS where he hit .529 with 4 homers in 4 games is the stuff of legends.
I’ll admit, I was not a fan of Murphy’s signing when it was first announced; I thought that Yunel Escobar could simply slide over to 2nd base (both players are not necessarily known for their defense) and put up similar (or better) offensive numbers than Murphy. But, despite all the hate that Murphy got from KFC and Mets fans during the regular season, he actually put up a really great 2nd half. His regular season line was .281/.322/.449 with 14 homers but, after the All-Star break (you know, when the Nats decided that the playoffs just weren’t for them), Murphy kicked it up a notch or two and hit 9 of his 14 homers. In total, since the 24th of July, Murphy hit 16 homers and batted .302/..337 in 70 regular season and post-season games. Maybe Murphy is more than the hitter that we thought he was and maybe he actually can make a legitimate impact on what now looks like a much-improved infield with Ryan Zimmerman, Murphy, Espinosa (and eventually Turner), and Rendon. Now, is Murphy the best fielder in the world? No. Not at all. But ummmm…room for improvement!
The loss of a 1st round pick (to the Mets no less!) stings but we’ve got to hold out hope that the Nationals aren’t done with their big signings and will acquire a star outfielder for a reasonable price. I thought that Alex Gordon was a perfect fit and would have loved for him to sign with Washington for 4 years 72 million (or even a little more than that) but his re-signing with the Royals put an end to that.
Now for something funny- Stephen Drew will be making 3 million in a Nationals uniform next year. This is the same Stephen Drew that hit .201 last year after hitting .162 in 85 games the year prior. I don’t really have much to add other than the fact that Drew is not a good player and that the team would’ve been better off just giving his role to Wilmer Difo or Trea Turner.