To say that Daniel Murphy has had a good postseason wouldn't even come close to scratching the surface of what he's accomplished. In 39 plate appearances, he's posted a slash line of .421/.436/1.026 along with an ISO of .605, a wOBA of .609, and a wRC+ of 305. For nine games in the playoffs, Murphy has transformed into the player we all imagined we'd be when we were in the backyard pretending it was Game 7 of the World Series.
While he's unquestionably been fantastic in the playoffs, his recent performance cannot be allowed to outweigh what Murphy's done in his career. However, the player he's been might come as a shock, even to those that have watched him closely.
Before the NLCS began, Joel Sherman noted that through "educated guesswork from talking to agents and executives...the consensus seems to be [that] Murphy will get a three-year contract in the $30 million-to-$40 million range." While that might seem like a lot of money to commit to a player like Murphy, it might be on the low end of what he's actually worth.
Over the last three seasons, Murphy has generated $62.1 million in value according to FanGraphs, which would translate to an AAV of $20.7 million. If he can be that player for three more seasons, then signing him to a contract worth $30 to $40 million in overall value would be a steal, as there are some indications that Murphy is in fact getting better.
In an article posted last week, Joe Vasile noted that Murphy's power surge has been brewing all year and that while his playoff performance has been surprising, it hasn't been completely out of left field.
"Murphy is now crouched over more and holds his hands lower and closer to his body. As a result he is able to generate more power in his swing. In 2008 and 2009 when Murphy was first in the majors, his stance was more crouched over, and he posted ISO's of .160 and .161. The move to a more upright stance came in 2010, and from 2011 through 2014, his ISO's dipped to .128, .112, .129, and .114."
With Murphy's new stance, his ISO has increased dramatically, as well as his batted ball distances. From 2010-2014, the average distance on Murphy's HR's, fly balls, and line drives was 254.39 feet; this season, though, it rose to 269.95 feet.
It would seem that not only is Murphy deserving of a multi-year deal, but that the initial estimates of a contract worth $30 to $40 million might be shortchanging the second baseman. Over the last three years, he's produced fWAR's of 3.1, 2.5, and 2.5, respectively, and with the resurgence of his power, Murphy could easily be worth more in the future.
To be completely honest, when I began this article, there was a notably different tone. The title was meant to be "A plea to sanity: Don't overspend on Daniel Murphy", but it turned out that the sane conclusion was that he might very well be worth more than what he eventually signs for. While it likely would have been possible to keep the original angle for this article, it would have been disingenuous to ignore his statistics and the value that he's provided in recent memory.
Murphy isn't going to get a contract worth $100 million, but something in the range of four years and $60 to $75 million doesn't seem outrageous. He'll be 31 years old next season, and with Ben Zobrist as only other reasonable alternative to Murphy, there could very well be a bidding war for the second baseman's services.
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Matt Goldman is a Featured Writer with Beyond the Box Score and a Contributing Editor at MLB Daily Dish. You can follow him on Twitter at @TheOriginalBull.