Over the last few months many, including myself, have tried to predict what kind of contract Daniel Murphy would land once he became a free agent.
During the regular season my predictions were for something like three years, $36 million. Then Murph became Babe Ruth (Barry Bonds?) for two playoff rounds. At that point three years, $45 million sounded more like it. Then Murphy had an abysmal World Series at the bat and in the field. So maybe he punted a few million with that back to three years, $40 to 42 million.
We saw the Mets give Murphy the Qualifying Offer of $15.8 million for one year. This was a bit risky on the part of the team because had he accepted the QO it would have been a clear overpay for this player. Of course, the team was ready to go near 4 years, $60 million for Ben Zobrist who is a better player than Murphy but perhaps not that much better.
On Christmas morning it was revealed that Murphy’s deal with the Nationals is for 3 years, $37.5 million. I think that is getting the player for a good price. Had Murphy accepted the QO and become a free agent next year in a weak free agent class he probably could have netted himself a good bit more money.
The math is that had he taken the $15.8 million then next year as a free agent he would only need to get a 2 year offer of $21.7 million in order to match what he will be getting from the Nats. Another benefit for Murphy would have been an additional year with the Mets, the team he clearly preferred to remain with.
Apparently Washington hasn’t decided where Murphy will play. Their options include second base where they would have much improved offense but significantly worse defense or third base (with Anthony Rendon moving from third to second). My guess is that since Murphy’s best position is third and Rendon is at least league average defensively at second that that is the way they will go.
Personally I have always been a Murphy fan and supporter. I wish him only good things in his non-Mets career. Hopefully though he doesn’t become one of the many Mets killers we have had to endure over the years.