According to a report by ESPN.com's Jim Bowden tonight, the Washington Nationals have signed free agent second baseman Daniel Murphy to a 3-year deal.
The Nationals have been tied to a number of second baseman this winter, including Ben Zobrist and Brandon Phillips, but after pursuing those options, GM Mike Rizzo and Co. in the Nationals' front office have reportedly turned to Murphy, 30, the now-former New York Mets' infielder, who put up a .281/.322/.449 line with 38 doubles and 14 home runs in a 2.5 fWARC campaign in his seventh major league season in 2015.
Daniel Murphy agrees with Nationals 3 year deal https://t.co/MKcInO9jbW— Jim Bowden (@JimBowden_ESPN) December 24, 2015
Murphy caught fire in the postseason as well, putting up a .328/.391/.724 line with two doubles and seven home runs in 14 games and 64 plate appearances for the Mets as they fought their way through the National League before eventually losing to the Kansas City Royals in the World Series.
The Nationals were in the market for a left-handed bat to balance their right-hand heavy lineup this winter.
Asked during an interview at Nats WinterFest earlier this month if the Nats would continue to look for a second baseman or center fielder after pursuing Zobrist and making a $200M offer to Jason Heyward, Rizzo said they would explore all of the options out there to improve the club.
"There [are] a lot of things and possibilities that we can do via the free agent market and the trade market," Rizzo said.
"So we're going to see what fits for us nicely and what deals we can make. We're just out scouring and looking for players that help improve the roster and make us a championship-caliber club."
No details of the reported deal with Murphy are official yet, and there is no confirmation from the team, but multiple sources are now confirming Bowden's initial report.
Washington Post writer James Wagner, citing a "person familiar with the situation" confirmed the deal tonight:
Daniel Murphy reaches three-year deal with Nationals https://t.co/cPMg23tJtT pic.twitter.com/4WMMa1t0JZ— Post Sports (@PostSports) December 24, 2015
MLB.com's Bill Ladson and Bowden, had previously reported that the Nationals were talking to Murphy and Howie Kendrick after talks with the Cincinnati Reds and Phillips fell through.
As FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal wrote on Twitter tonight, adding Murphy's left-handed bat made more sense for the Nationals:
Evidently, that need for a LHH took precedence for #Nationals in choosing Murphy over Kendrick or pursuing another second baseman in trade.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 24, 2015
In signing Murphy, who rejected the Mets' qualifying offer earlier this winter, the Nationals forfeit their first-round pick, which was the 17th overall pick, but they are going to get two compensatory picks for Jordan Zimmermann, who signed with the Tigers and Ian Desmond, since they made qualifying offers to each free agent.
So... Daniel Murphy is a National?