In the business, that’s what they call a “worst-case scenario.”
Here’s the scoop from South Capitol.
Nationals trade Daniel Murphy, Matt Adams in surprising fire sale (SI)
"The 2018 Nats were expected to be great, not just good. They were SI’s World Series pick... Martinez looks likely to be one-and-done...it’s hard to imagine [the saved money] ending up anywhere but ownership’s pockets. It must be nice to have a little unexpected savings when there are no playoff tickets to sell."
No Bryce Harper deal, but Nationals trade Daniel Murphy to Cubs, Matt Adams to Cardinals (WaPo)
The Nationals surrendered on their season, sending Daniel Murphy to Chicago and Matt Adams to St. Louis. Murphy's deal saves the Nationals $4 million and lands them infield prospect Andruw Monasterio.
The Cubs acquire Daniel Murphy from Nationals for Andruw Monasterio (Beyond the Box Score)
"The Cubs acquired Murphy for almost nothing. Monasterio is a 21-year-old infielder playing with High-A Myrtle Beach, where he has slashed .263/.359/.336 over 436 plate appearances. He was not included among the Cubs’ top 30 prospects."
Nationals trade Daniel Murphy, Matt Adams (MLB.com)
Murphy has a 1.142 OPS at Wrigley field over his career, while Adams will rejoin the club that picked him in the 23rd round of the 2009 draft.
Dodgers reportedly claim Bryce Harper (MLB.com)
LA's claim expired and no deal occurred. Harper said he had "no fear" of leaving Washington.
Owner Mark D. Lerner's letter to Nats fans (MLB.com)
"The time has come for us to make decisions that will bolster our roster for next season and beyond. This is about giving us some roster flexibility, giving us the opportunity to see some of our young talent, and seeing if we can still find a combination or two that could spark a difference."
Cubs Acquire Daniel Murphy, Infield Insurance Policy (Fangraphs)
Essentially, this means every team in the NL passed on Murphy, most likely due to the money and the abundance of talent in the league's collective middle infield. Murphy is slow and poor on defense, but he can hit again -- which the Cubs hope he continues to do as they shift Javy Baez to third. (Also, the prospect the Nats got back is not "likely to hit enough to play everyday.")
Phillies-Nationals series preview: It’s now or never for Washington (WaPo)
As it turned out, it was never.