WASHINGTON – He was coming off a recent World Series success and was going from one National League East team to another after signing a three-year free-agent contract.
While Max Scherzer won a World Series title with the Nationals in 2019 and is now with the New York Mets, the scenario was just a little bit different in 2016.
Daniel Murphy, a home run star for the Mets in the 2015 World Series against Kansas City, signed a three-year deal with the Nationals in 2016 and was introduced to the media the first week of January that year after he came to terms a few weeks earlier.
“We ran down a short list of clubs, and Washington was one of the places we wanted to go,” Murphy told the media that day at the ground floor of Nationals Park. “We are very familiar with the division. It’s East Coast. Florida Spring Training is two hours from our home in Jacksonville. … Both sides felt this was a good fit.”
“I’ve seen plenty of Daniel Murphy, believe me, as a general manager — often from the other side of the field,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said that day. “He is a player that plays the game the right way. We love his attitude, his grit. When the bright lights — not only in New York City — are on, [Murphy] shines the brightest.”
Murphy was a standout in college at his hometown Division I Jacksonville in Florida. During his college days, he played two summers for Luray in the Valley Baseball League. One of his teammates in Luray was Brian Bocock, a native of Harrisonburg, Virginia who played shortstop in the majors for the Giants and Phillies.
Murphy was drafted out of college by the Mets in 2006 and made his Major League debut with New York in 2008.
He hit a homer in six straight games in the postseason for the Mets in 2015.
The left-handed-hitting second baseman was an All-Star for the Nationals in 2016 and 2017, and led the National League in doubles each season.
He hit .347 and .322 in his first two full seasons with Washington.
He hit .236 in 40 games for the Rockies in 2020 and retired after the season. Murphy turns 37 on April 1.