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?