It would be surprising if Daniel Murphy dropped to the Astros on the waiver wire, but an unknown team is rumored to have claimed him.
According to Joel Sherman, “Washington’s Daniel Murphy was claimed before he reached the Yankees.” The claiming team is unknown, all we know is it is not the New York Yankees. This makes sense because they have the second-best record in the big leagues, it will be rare for a significant player to make it to them. This could also make Astros fans a little less confident with the third best record in the American League.
Murphy would have to pass all the teams in competition in the National League and the teams chasing the top three teams in the American League. This includes the Indians, Mariners, and Athletics. It’s hard to believe that a team like the Braves or Phillies would pass a chance to claim Murphy. As hot as Murphy has been and his veteran playoff experience in the playoffs has to be appealing to any of the younger teams.
High price tag?
The only drawback is his approximate $3.8 million contract remaining for the remainder of 2019. After adding Justin Verlander in 2017, the Astros have shown that they will take on the money for the right player. Murphy is batting .300 with six homers and 29 RBI in 190 at-bats with the Nationals after being limited by injuries. He has been really hot at the plate, batting .341 with four homers and 16 RBI in the last 28 games. All stats via Baseball-Reference.
Murphy has had some success in the playoffs but did struggle in the 2015 World Series for the Mets. But as my Talking Stros cohost said on the show tonight, he almost single-handedly carried them to the World Series. I wrote about his playoff stats the other day.
There is no guarantee that Murphy made it to the Astros.
If he did, I am pretty confident they would have claimed him. The two teams now have a limited time frame to agree to a trade or the Nationals can pull him back and not trade him. It is unlikely that the Nationals will say, here he is, you pay his remaining salary. They will want some prospects in return.
While he would be a good match, the odds that he fell to the Astros is not good. We will follow this story as it develops. With the Astros, he may play some outfield, but he could most of his time in the infield or as the DH. He would also probably replace Tyler White on the roster. Murphy’s defense is not the best, but his bat would add to the Astros lineup. Most likely, another team claimed him.