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How did the exact hitter the Cubs needed land in their laps?

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To the surprise of the Chicago Cubs, the process ended with a single word, instead of two: eligible.

The Cubs’ brass was used to seeing “not eligible” while putting in waiver claims this month, but on this day — a week ago Sunday — general manager Jed Hoyer and the rest of the front office saw only that one word. They had just won the claim for Daniel Murphy and had 48 hours to work out a deal with the Washington Nationals.

“We got the bulletin that we were awarded the claim for Murphy,” Hoyer said earlier this week. “We were surprised, obviously the way he was hitting, and also, it’s been a year, where for the most part, if we put in somewhere between one and eight or nine claims every day, we’ve generally been getting zero.”cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

In fact, the Cubs put in a claim for several Nationals, including outfielder Bryce Harper, after Washington collapsed in the standings in recent days. Ironically, a walk-off grand slam by rookie David Bote — against the Nationals — hastened Washington’s sell-off. Somehow, someway, Murphy got all the way to Chicago, as teams make claims based on record, from worst to first. Thirteen National League teams passed on Murphy before the Cubs saw that word.4

“When you put in a claim, you get a bulletin like a half-hour after the waiver period expires, and they tell you who you’re eligible for,” Hoyer said. “It says eligible and not eligible. In this case we were eligible. In most cases we were not eligible.”

It was just two days earlier that the Cubs first saw Murphy’s name — and Harper’s — on the waiver wire. Teams place players on waivers all the time with the ability to pull them back.

“Every day the waiver bulletin comes out, and we have a series of emails that goes around the office,” Hoyer said. “Usually at some point in the morning, we have a quick meeting to go over the decisions.”

It wasn’t a hard decision to put in a claim for Murphy, one of the premier hitters in the league. The Cubs were slumping at the plate, as what looked like just a slow start to the second half had ballooned into about a month of offensive woes. A spark was needed.cheap official nike nfl jerseys

“Between Aug. 1 and the Murphy deal, we felt like we needed a jolt right there,” Hoyer said. “Our mindset changed a little bit between Aug. 1 and the trade … At that moment, there was a lot of excitement obviously because of the type of player that Murphy is but also because of the way we were struggling.”

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