As originally reported by ESPN’s Jim Bowden, the Washington Nationals have agreed to a three-year deal with former New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy.
Before signing Murphy, the Nationals had been extremely quiet this offseason, only signing two relief pitchers in free agency, Shawn Kelley and Oliver Perez. As we near the New Year, it looks like many of the major decisions for Washington’s offseason are still ahead of the team: members of the 2015 Nationals like Ian Desmond, Denard Span, and Doug Fister remain unsigned in free agency.
Murphy had spent his entire career up until now with the Mets, meaning that he has always been a division rival of the Nationals. Following the Mets’ seven-game victory over Washington for the 2015 NL East crown, Murphy went on a historic postseason tear, hitting seven home runs across his first nine postseason games. In New York’s World Series loss to the Kansas City Royals, however, Murphy hit no home runs and only managed a .150 batting average.
Since the Nationals signed Murphy when they already have infielders Ryan Zimmerman, Anthony Rendon, and Danny Espinoza under contract — plus prospect Trea Turner in the organization — this move is perhaps an indication that Washington is ready to move on from longtime shortstop Desmond.