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Discussing the Cost of a Potential Ian Desmond Trade

In Sports on January 23, 2015 at 10:30 am

By: Brian P. Mangan (@brianpmangan)

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Mets should trade Daniel Murphy and “a prospect” to acquire Ian Desmond and a lesser prospect from the Nationals. In that scenario, Murphy plays second for the Nationals and Yunel Escobar slides over to shortstop, while Desmond plays shortstop for the Mets and Wilmer Flores slides over to second base. It’s a deal that makes a lot of sense for both sides, so long as the Nationals don’t mind trading within the division.

What is Ian Desmond?

Desmond is a rare commodity: a 29 year old shortstop who can hit for power and who plays above average defense. Over the last three years, Desmond has put up a .275 batting average and 23 home runs per year, has been an above-average baserunner, and has averaged 22 steals per year (at a 78% success rate). He can do it all, and as a result, has averaged 4.3 WAR per season over the last three years. Even in a slightly down year according to his standards in 2014, he still hit .255, slugged 24 home runs, and posted 4.1 WAR.

The Marlins Are Nowhere Near the Nationals (or maybe even the Mets)

In Sports on January 22, 2015 at 4:04 pm

By: Brian P. Mangan

Apparently we are turning into Fire Joe Morgan. My apologies, but certain information must be disseminated to the public, and certain misinformation must be debunked. Let’s start with one that has bothered me all offseason, perhaps the most problematic theme of them all: the idea that the Marlins are going to be really good in 2015. They aren’t.

Let’s walk that back slightly in the interest of accuracy: it would be a big surprise if the Marlins were much better than a .500 team next year. They would need a lot of luck, and then some, in order to present a real challenge to the Nationals. If Giancarlo Stanton comes back healthy and as good as ever, if Mat Latos pitches a full season at a high level, if Christian Yelich emerges as a star, and if Michael Morse can rewind to 2011 and hit 30 home runs … then maybe we’re on to something. But even then, the Marlins would, in all likelihood, still be looking up at the Nationals.

Despite this obvious truth, Phil Rogers of MLB.com published a piece today entitled “Marlins built to give Nationals run for their money.”  Aside from being, well, wrong and kinda lazy, it makes no mention whatsoever of the Mets, a team who, on paper, might be superior to the Marlins. I’ll take a look at the Mets next week, but for now, I’m going to pull apart Rogers and tell you exactly why the Marlins have no shot to “give the Nationals a run for their money.”

The Guardian’s Mets Piece Is Off-Base

In Sports on January 14, 2015 at 12:04 pm

By: Brian Mangan

There is an article making the rounds of the Mets blogosphere today which appeared in The Guardian, a huge British national daily newspaper. The article strongly criticized the Mets and appeared to truly resonate with a large segment of the fan base.

However, although there are many reasons to criticize the Mets ownership — and I do it on this blog myself — the author of the Guardian article, Jonathan Bernhardt, is way off base in his analysis. In fact, there were a few points in the article where I wondered whether he was a baseball fan at all, or merely just some journalist forced to write an article about it. (It turns out that Bernhardt does indeed write about baseball, but it appears that most of it is focused on criticizing the Mets).

Because of this, I am going to do something that I rarely do, and I am going to break down the more absurd parts of the article, Fire Joe Morgan style, and try to bring some sanity back to the discussion.

Wilmer Flores, a player who barely made a dent in Triple A, will be the Mets’ starting shortstop. It says everything about the team’s ambition.

This is simply absurd, and made me stop reading. I literally had to stop and pick the article back up later in the day. It is the first line of the article.

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