Chicago Cubs acquire Daniel Murphy from Nationals
The Chicago Cubs on Tuesday gained an infielder and confirmed that they have lost a starting pitcher for the remainder of the season.
To help their struggling offense, they obtained second baseman Daniel Murphy from the Washington Nationals in exchange for minor-league infielder Andruw Monasterio and a player to be named later or cash.
Murphy is a noted Cubs killer. He hit 4 home runs against them for the Mets in the 2015 National League championship series, swept by New York.
Later Tuesday, Cubs president Theo Epstein told reporters in Detroit that pitcher Yu Darvish is done for the season because of a "stress reaction" on the tip of his right elbow in addition to continuing to have triceps issues.
Darvish, whom the Cubs signed to a six-year, $126 million contract on the eve of spring training, has not pitched since May 20. He ends the season having gone 1-3 with a 4.95 ERA in 8 starts.
Murphy is expected to arrive in Detroit for Wednesday's finale of a two-game series.
The Cubs will have to make a roster move. It could be that they place shortstop Addison Russell on the disabled list. He was scratched from Tuesday night's game because of a sore right shoulder. He has been bothered for much of the season with a hand injury.
The Nationals have begun to unload veteran players. They allowed Matt Adams to go to the St. Louis Cardinals on a waiver claim.
The Cubs swooped in on Murphy, claiming him on waivers and then working out a deal.
In 56 games this year after recovering from off-season knee surgery, Murphy has a line of .300/.341/.442 with 6 home runs and 29 RBI. He hit 23 homers and drove in 93 last year. In 2016, his first season with the Nats, he put up a line of .347/.390/.595 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI.
He is a left-handed batter who has played in 55 games against the Cubs, going .325/.365/.553 with 9 homers and 22 RBI. He hit a 2-run homer at Wrigley Field against Jon Lester on Aug. 11 during a 9-4 Nationals victory.
Murphy can play second base, third base, first base and left field. Cubs manager Joe Maddon will have several options and even more when injured third baseman Kris Bryant comes off the disabled list after battling left-shoulder inflammation.
The Cubs were coming off a four-game series in Pittsburgh, where they scored a grand total of 4 runs.
"We were certainly looking to jump-start the offense," Epstein said. "Daniel Murphy has as good at-bats as anyone in the game."
Murphy is in the final season of a three-year, $37.5 million contract, meaning he can become a free agent this fall. The Cubs will owe him about $3.84 million.
Darvish came out of Sunday's rehab start at Class A South Bend after only 1 inning pitched. It was the second time this season Darvish said he felt discomfort after a rehab start.
The Cubs had hoped Darvish would be a solid No. 3 starter behind Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks and ahead of Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood.
Darvish has been a nonfactor, and Chatwood lost his spot in the rotation after leading the National League in walks. He made a spot start in Pittsburgh over the weekend, lasting just 2 innings. Left-hander Mike Montgomery, who filled Darvish's spot in the rotation, went on the disabled list last week with shoulder inflammation.
Realistically, the Cubs had not been counting on Darvish for the stretch drive.
"While we were hoping to have him back, as I told you on a number of occasions, it wasn't anything we were counting on because twice he had ramped up but experienced pain, and we're really disappointed that he's hurt," Epstein said. "But at least we understand what he's dealing with.
"We do believe the stress reaction is what has been bugging him all the way back to the end of May. It's consistent with the symptoms and pain he has been experiencing as he ramps up and tried to come back on two occasions now."