Reliving the 2015 NLCS pains me to this day, even with the eventual success of 2016. The main reason why… Daniel Murphy. Murphy was the 2015 NLCS MVP, and lead the Mets to the World Series. He not only help lead the Mets to beat the Cubs, he destroyed the Cubs.
Daniel Murphy, a infielder from Jacksonville, FL, was drafted in the 13th round in 2006. Murphy got to the majors in less than 2 years in the minors, and hasn’t looked back since. Murphy has lead the NL in doubles the last two years, and was second in MVP voting when KB won his MVP in 2016. Murphy career stats are below:
|.299 AVG||.345 OBP||.458 SLG||.803 OPS|
Murphy is batting .300 this year for the season with only playing 56 games, due to undergoing right knee surgery but is hitting .340 since the All-Star break.
So, the looming question is what does this mean for the Cubs? Honestly, it may not signal much at the moment, but long term it could have some serious affects.
- Please… do not think for one second KB will be traded. This is not even close to a good idea, and Theo and co. know this. KB, even with the injury plagued season this year, has a bright future for the Cubs and is going nowhere. This
- Ben Zobrist is playing phenomenal, but he is 37. He doesn’t have a long career ahead of him, so Murphy could be the replacement for Zobrist.
- What this move does mean is that Addison Russel’s days as a Cub are numbered. Despite being a focus for what the Cubs planned for the future, Addison has not been able to consistently produce at the plate. This could be troublesome for the the Cub’s Shortstop.
- This would probably mean a infield with KB at 3rd, Javy at SS, Murphy at 2nd, and Rizzo at 1st. With the lineup shuffling, we could see KB move to the OF for the occasional game to give playing time to players like Bote, LaStella, and others.
- The ultimate piece could mean that this is more reason and fuel to the fire that Harper is coming to the Cubs. With the opportunity to compete for a World Series every year, playing with lifelong friend KB, and now playing with now former teammate Daniel Murphy could mean that Harper will be a Cub. Murphy and KB go all in on Recruiting Harper to join them
- IF Harper is in fact a Cub next year, I think we see Heyward shift to CF everyday, and Almora will be playing on another team. As much as Cubs fan may not want to lose Almora, the prospect of adding one of the best players in the world would be worth losing Almora.
The overall belief is that Theo has once again worked his magic and made the Cubs better today. If given the choice, I will take Murphy over Machado every day. We will see how this season turns out, but this move could be as impactful as in 2017 when the Astros acquired Justin Verlander in a similar move.