Astros: Daniel Murphy placed on revocable waivers
By Eric Huysman
The Astros have struggled offensively recently and have had some bad luck.
Last night, it appeared that the Astros were on the verge of winning their 75th game of the season. Instead, a bad overturned call changed the outcome of the game. Following today’s loss, they now are now tied with the Athletics for first place. Not that I’m overly worried, I still see the Astros winning the AL West.
George Springer and Carlos Correa have returned to the lineup. We are still looking forward to the return of Jose Altuve to the lineup. When the lineup is at full strength, there is not much of a need at the moment. Yes, I have been a big advocate for Kyle Tucker to play, but it would be nice to add one more bat. A veteran player who could play outfield would be a great addition.
The non-waiver trade deadline has passed, so any further additions must go through the waivers process. If this player is to participate in the playoffs, they must be added before August 31st. While it is very typical for players to be placed on waivers in August, it is bigger news if they clear waivers. Then they can be traded to any team, but only for players not on the 40-man roster.
Help from a trade?
Yesterday, Ken Rosenthal tweeted that Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy were put on waivers. The big name is Harper, who is an impending free agent. But the one who the Astros could have some interest in is Murphy, who is similar to a Marwin Gonzalez type of player. Both players are free agents to be, and both could break out with a change of scenery. According to MLB Trade rumors, Harper is owed about $5 million, and Murphy is owed about $4 million.
As we have seen, you can never have too much depth in the lineup. While I would love to see Harper in the Astros lineup, the Nationals will not give him up for nothing. Murphy might clear waivers, but he has been hot recently so that a competitor may claim him. Would the Astros try to claim Murphy? We wrote about trading for Murphy earlier.
Murphy is batting .306 with six homers and 29 RBI in only 183 at-bats via Baseball-Reference. Not including today’s game, Murphy has batted .343 with five homers and 19 RBI in the last 30 games. However, he is a left-handed hitter who has missed a lot of time this year with injuries. He would let Kyle Tucker develop a little more and free up Gonzalez to be the super utility guy.
Too many hitters?
But then again, that could be the problem. When Jose Altuve returns from the DL, I would expect that Tucker will return to Triple-A. Tony Kemp and Tyler White have proved that they belong, so one of them would be going down until September. What does Murphy have that they don’t? He is a veteran with playoff experience.
Murphy is a career .323 hitter with eight homers and 19 RBI in 93 career playoff at-bats. The one thing to consider is his .150 batting average in five World Series games in 2015 with the Mets. Several contenders could claim Murphy before the Astros do, especially with him having to go through the National League. If the Astros did get the opportunity to claim him, the Nationals could say, you got him, and all the money.
Murphy could play left field, but it would be at the cost of playing time for Kemp or White. Don’t forget about Jake Marisnick’s eventual return following his return from his groin injury. The Nationals would like to get something in return, but saving $4 million could be appealing. They could get more value if he clears waivers.
Despite their poor play, this team is made to win. Things will turn around, but we saw the impact that adding Justin Verlander last year had. Murphy would be a great addition, but Harper might send a Verlander like confidence from the rest of the team. Murphy is a reasonable target for the Astros. I will be following this story.