Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Can we just start watching baseball again?

Signed Ian Desmond 2010 Topps National Chicle insert card from my collection
Signed Ian Desmond 2010 Topps National Chicle insert card from my collection

I don’t know how many words I’ve read about Ian Desmond this week, but I think I liked him better when he was just hitting home runs against the Mets and not the subject of endless trade rumors.

For those who haven’t been paying attention to the New York Mets or Washington Nationals, Ken Rosenthal wrote on Sunday that the Mets, Nationals and Tampa Bay Rays discussed a three-way deal that would have sent Desmond to the Mets, Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar to Washington and two of the Mets’ top three prospects to Tampa Bay.

The Mets were unwilling to part with that much talent for one year of Desmond, who is a free agent at the end of this season, and Tampa Bay ultimately traded Zobrist and Escobar to Oakland.

While some fans felt the Mets needed to make a move to “win now,” most understood that the trade Rosenthal outlined didn’t make sense from the Mets’ perspective – they’d be giving up too much long-term potential for a relatively small, short-term improvement.

After Oakland flipped Escobar to the Nationals for Tyler Clippard last night, Rosenthal wrote that the Mets should send Daniel Murphy and a prospect to the Nationals for Desmond and another lesser player.

On the surface, this idea makes more sense – the Mets would be giving up one year of Murphy for one year of Desmond, which would give them one of the best shortstops in baseball and let Wilmer Flores play second base, where he has more experience and would be a better defender. The Nationals would get to play Escobar at his natural position instead of shifting him to second base, and could let Murphy and Anthony Rendon handle second and third.

But losing Murphy’s bat from the major league lineup makes the upgrade even more marginal for the Mets. If they could swap one of Bobby Parnell, Jenrry Mejia or Jeurys Familia for Murphy in Rosenthal’s proposed deal – which only exists to fuel website page views, as far as anyone knows – I’d be on board. But the Nationals probably wouldn’t be – trading Clippard leaves a hole in their bullpen, but they’d be able to fill it via internal options better than they could fill the one they’d make at second base by trading Desmond without getting a major league second baseman back.

Washington GM Mike Rizzo told reporters today that Desmond is ” a leader of our team….And he’s going to be the shortstop of the Washington Nationals.”

You can take him at face value, or you can assume he’s posturing…. I don’t have enough experience with him to make that call.

But I have had enough of media-fueled trade rumors. I don’t want to hear any more about Desmond until he’s actually traded or we’re watching him do something on the field.

(Then again, considering other stories about the Mets today…. maybe speculative trade rumors aren’t the worst thing in the world.)

Can we just start watching baseball again?

3 thoughts on “Can we just start watching baseball again?

  1. Desmond is a disaster in the field. I’d much rather stick with Flores at short this year. True, Desmond can hit. But Flores’ strength is supposed to be his bat. Let’s see how he does. Defensively, there’s no way Flores could be as bad as Desmond. Some fans just want the Mets to make a move for the sake of making a move. That’s just stupid. And every fan over-estimates what their team’s players are worth. Saw one proposed by an Astro writer the other day–Dexter Fowler and Jason Castro for Niese and Montero. Nothing against Fowler, but what we have is better and Castro is barely an upgrade on Recker. Why would the Mets trade two of their front-line starters for a couple of benchwarmers? Mets fans are just as unrealistic; they honestly think Colon has significant trade value right now and that we could get Tulo for Gee, Fulmer and a minor league catcher (not named Plawecki). The insanity never ends.

    On the bright side, 2015 Topps is just a couple of weeks away and that’s always the first true sign of spring.


    1. I’m definitely looking forward to the 2015 baseball cards. I think Topps is supposed to release the checklist on Tuesday.

      (Btw, did you ever get the SGA deck of playing cards the Mets had a couple of years ago to honor the 1973 team? I have an extra one if you need it.)

      I think that you’re exaggerating a bit by calling Desmond a “disaster” in the field, but I don’t see a good reason for the Mets to trade for him unless Washington decides to give him away for spare parts.

      I had not seen the Astros rumor – why would the Mets even want Dexter Fowler? And while Jason Castro might be worth having as a backup catcher, I can’t see a good reason to ship out two starting pitchers to get him.

      The worst hypothetical trade scenarios could be avoided if people would just ask themselves if the deal would make sense from the other GM’s point of view before they propose it.


      1. Yes, I did get the ’73 playing cards. Thanks for asking. Didn’t get the 2014s though.

        As for Desmond, I’m in a Fantasy league that counts errors as a stat. Not a week went by where Desmond didn’t commit at least 3 or 4 errors. I lost so many head-to-heads because of his defense (which more than cancelled out his offense in our league) that I benched him in the second half in favor of Brock Holt (who qualified at short though, by then, he wasn’t hitting). No exaggeration; Ian Desmond can’t field a lick. And everybody knows it. Ruben Tejada laughs at Desmond’s defense. Heck, Dick “Dr. Strangeglove” Stuart would laugh at Desmond’s defense.

        The problem with hypothetical trades is that everybody over values their own players and under values everyone else’s. Astros fans think Jason Castro is God’s gift to catching just as Mets fans are certain Dillon Gee should command an All-Star in trade. So if they asked themselves if it made sense from the GM’s standpoint, they’d likely say “absolutely”.


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