Jesse Crain has a calf strain

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Jesse Crain injured his right calf the other day. Evan Drellich reports that an MRI has confirmed the original diagnosis of a strain.

While Bo Porter characterized the diagnosis as good news — coulda been worse — it’s just the latest in a series of health issues for Crain. He had biceps surgery in the offseason and the calf is going to set him back some more. This will likely place Chad Qualls in line to be the Astros’ Opening Day starter.

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.