Last postseason, Daniel Murphy took the league by storm as a member of the New York Mets, swatting seven home runs in his first nine games, including home runs six games in a row.
It's hard to know exactly how much his postseason improved his free agent stock, though Murphy cashed in quite nicely, inking a three-year, $37.5 million deal with the Nationals. And he has completely lived up to expectations.
So, who is Murphy-ing this postseason so far?
Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays
Easily the best example of Murphy-ing this postseason is Blue Jays' slugger Edwin Encarnacion, who has had a phenomenal postseason thus far, having six hits in his first 16 at bats, including three home runs and seven RBI.
Encarnacion was likely going to get a big contract this offseason regardless. However, his great performance in the postseason thus far will only increase the likelihood of him getting a large payday. Some concerns may surround Encarnacion's age, given that he is 33 years old. Despite this, he still played 600 innings at first base during the season, perhaps allowing him to market himself to both American and National League teams.
Middle-of-the-order bats are hard to come by, and Encarnacion is solidifying himself as a great option for teams looking for extra pop in their lineup going forward. He might just get a "clutch" player tag, too, which obviously helps him.
Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays
Like his aforementioned Blue Jays teammate, Bautista will hit the free agent market this offseason at the conclusion of a six-year, $78 million contract. I can't imagine anyone but Toronto keeping Bautista, but an extension has not been worked out, and it still seems like he is open to hitting free agency.
Bautista has not been nearly as good as Encarnacion this postseason, yet he has still hit two very important home runs, one of which came in a do-or-die American League Wild Card game. Bautista cooled off during the ALDS, collecting just two hits over the three games, but a strong postseason the rest of the way could make his bat in even more demand than it already projects to be.
Bautista has a natural flare for the dramatic, so I would not be shocked if his price tag is increased due to his ability to carry a team when it matters.
Aroldis Chapman, Chicago Cubs
Every time they watch him pitch, all 29 other Major League teams must wish they have Aroldis Chapman on their team. Chapman, famous for his fastball that easily reaches velocities in excess of 100 mph on the daily, has had a strong showing this postseason that should make him a rich man in a few months.
Granted, Chapman blew a save in NLDS Game 3, but in his other three appearances, he's been lights out, pitching three innings and striking out six. In Game 4, with a chance to clinch the series, Chapman set the Giants down in order by striking out the side. The games will get more important, and Chapman will continue to prove to be a very valuable piece out of the Cubs' bullpen. His value on the free agent market will continue to skyrocket past what already appears to be a record-breaking reliever contract in the making.
Chapman is 28 years old and is set to become a free agent for the first time. He was suspended at the beginning of this season due to a domestic violence incident, which could be a major downfall when negotiating his next deal.
In all, these three players have--to an extent--done this postseason what Daniel Murphy did last postseason. With all the talk that surrounds "contract years," it could just be "contract postseasons" that begin to make all the difference in years to come.