The Washington Nationals have been on the cusp of contention all season. They now sit 7.5 GB in the National League East and 6.5 GB of the National League Wild Card. The Nats have been reluctant to ship off some of their premier talent this season, despite being in third for majority of the season. Washington has finally agreed to part ways with Daniel Murphy in exchange for second-base prospect Andruw Monasterio and either a player to be named later or cash considerations. Monasterio is not exactly a top prospect as he is hitting .263 with 3 HRs and 31 RBIs in 109 games as a 21-year-old in high-A ball. Now this is a great deal for the Cubs as Murphy is hitting .300 with 6 HRs and 29 RBIs in 56 games this season. He has a .784 OPS and can provide a boost to the Cubs lineup in a close race for the National League Central Division. The best part for the Cubs is that they essentially got him for free.
What does this have to do with Harper? With the departure of Daniel Murphy, the Nationals have officially bowed out of the 2018 Playoffs. The Dodgers picked up Harper on waivers, but the Nationals decided not to deal him to Los Angeles. That means they believe they can retain Harper this offseason. Bryce is entering his age 26 season and is hitting .246 with 30 HRs, 79 RBIs, 9 SBs, a .380 OBP, and an .891 OPS. It will cost a boatload to acquire Harper’s talents for 2018 and beyond. That said, I do believe it is possible for the Nationals to re-sign the 2018 Homerun Derby Champion.
Side notes: Matt Adams was claimed by the Cardinals, Gio Gonzalez (7-10, 4.51 ERA) and Mark Reynolds (.154/.214/.154) are also up for grabs on the waiver wire.
Scott Neville – Head Baseball Writer – WTF Sports