Dice-K has a bad back

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So much for all that talk about Matsuzaka being healthy and in good shape and all of that:

According to translations, the Kyodo News and the Japanese sports web
site Sponichi Annex reported a few days ago that Matsuzaka, who was an
early arrival here, had skipped his throwing session at the end of last
week because of tightness in his back, and his no-show on the field
Tuesday would suggest that the condition had not improved sufficiently
to resume throwing. The Japanese media outlets had reported that the
Red Sox were aware of the condition, though Red Sox general manager
Theo Epstein did not mention it while discussing Matsuzaka with
reporters on Monday.

There was concern among some in Red Sox land that Tim Wakefield would become disgruntled as a result of not having a set spot in the rotation. If this is a harbinger of another injury-filled season for Dice-K, Wakefield may very well be quite gruntled this season. 

Cubs to acquire Daniel Murphy from the Nationals

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The Chicago Cubs are going to acquire Daniel Murphy from the Washington Nationals. Jon Heyman reports that the Cubs will send back prospect Andruw Monasterio and a player to be named later in exchange. Craig Mish of Sirius XM was the first to report that the Cubs were the team that claimed Murphy off of waivers.

Murphy got off to a slow start this year coming off of major surgery but is hitting .300/.341/.442 on the season and has been particularly hot of late. Murphy is primarily a second baseman, of course, but he has played some first base too. The Cubs, at any rate, have a pretty flexible roster so they’ll likely be able to find a good amount of playing time for him at either position and, when he doesn’t start, he’ll be a great option off the bench.

Between this trade and the trade of Matt Adams to the Cardinals, the Nats have officially thrown in the towel on 2018.