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The Nationals got a Daniel Murphy for Christmas

Saturday's Say Hey, Baseball includes the Nationals' new second baseman, the White Sox's waning offense and the year Frank Thomas had his own video game.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

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While you were eating Christmas turkey, unwrapping vintage baseball cards, or perhaps just seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the fifth time, Daniel Murphy spent the holidays rolling in a $37.5M, three-year contract with the Nationals. As of Dec. 25, the deal is still pending a physical and awaiting team confirmation, but that hasn’t stopped either fan base from speculating on the 30-year-old second baseman’s arrival.

Murphy was one of the most valuable position players on the Mets in 2015, contributing a .281/.322/.449 batting line and a career-best 14 home runs to boot. Murphy’s acquisition couldn’t come at a better time for the Nationals, whose middle infield was gutted with the loss of Ian Desmond and Yunel Escobar this offseason. Reds infielder Brandon Phillips was expected to sign with the Nationals several weeks ago, but the deal fell through at the last minute. Not only will the Nationals benefit from an anchor at second base, but they’ll put Murphy’s left-handed bat to good use in a predominantly right-handed lineup.

As for the rest of the Nationals’ wish list this holiday season, it’s safe to say that they’ve crossed off veteran infielder Howie Kendrick. Although Kendrick would provide a solid defensive upgrade at second base, he is past his prime and his right-handed bat would only weigh down an already-imbalanced lineup. The Nationals have also been linked to southpaws Wei-Yin Chen and Scott Kazmir, both of whom come with hefty price tags. Another lefty bat or two wouldn’t be amiss, assuming Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy require any help shouldering that side of the plate. Of course, the Nats could always go the easy route and spring for Bartolo Colon t-shirts instead.