WASHINGTON — The Washington Nationals traded veteran infielders Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams to the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, respectively, Tuesday afternoon. General manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement from Nationals Park.
In exchange, the Nationals received 21-year-old infield prospect Andruw Monasterio from Chicago along with cash or a player to be named later, and cash considerations from St. Louis. They will also save almost $5 million in salary between the two players.
The trades signal a white flag for the 2018 Nationals, who were heavy preseason favorites to win the NL East, but sit at just 62-63, 7.5 games out of first place and 6.5 games out of the NL Wild Card race, needing to pass four teams to get into a playoff spot. The moves come less than three weeks after ownership announced in a post non-waiver trade deadline letter that “we just couldn’t give up on this team.”
Rizzo was still optimistic upon announcing the moves, though he was realistic about the team’s position.
“I still think today we have the talent to play competitive games at the end of the season, realizing I know what the standings say and what the calendar says,” he said. “But the talent level in that locker room is still great.”
The Nationals had won just one series against a team with a winning record since early May, a two-game set over the Tampa Bay Rays in June. They also have not had a winning record in any month since May, going 9-16 in June, 11-14 in July, and sitting at 9-10 in August.
Washington begins a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies in D.C. Tuesday night.