Sep 13, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) singles to center allowing two runners to score during the fifth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
It was the trade rumor that swept the baseball nation last weekend. FOX Sports and MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal reported that a three-team deal between the Nationals, Mets, and Rays were discussed that included shortstop Ian Desmond staying in the NL East and going to New York.
With Yunel Escobar now with Washington and some not believing that he will be playing second base, but rather shortstop, when the season begins April 6 (against the Mets), I wanted to take a look at some trade pieces that the Nationals would get back if GM Mike Rizzo traded a player that they called the “leader of the team.”
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Before we break down some of those pieces, I wanted to get the thoughts on a potential Desmond trade from a Mets’ perspective. I asked Daniel Abriano, the editor of Rising Apple (The Mets’ side on Fansided) to give me his thoughts on the Desmond rumors and the chances he would give the Mets to contend in 2015:
"“With Wilmer Flores slated to be the Opening Day shortstop, the Mets are in dire need of an upgrade at the position, and Ian Desmond would be an almost perfect fit. The main issue is the fact that Desmond will almost certainly be a rental player, with his camp really having no reason to work out an extension with any acquiring team prior to him hitting free agency. Desmond would not only give the Mets another big bat in their lineup, he would give them a player who can actually handle shortstop defensively – something zero scouts believe Flores to be capable of. “"
If there was a team that needed production at shortstop, it’s the Mets. Whether it was Wilmer Flores or Ruben Tejada last season, the Mets’ shortstops were 27th in batting average, hit just eight home runs, and 25th in OPS (.629). While Desmond might be a downgrade for them defensively, he definitely would make up for that with his power bat.
Daniel also gave his thoughts on what he would give up, in a deal, if he were general manager Sandy Alderson:
"“One player who should be off limits in any potential deal for Desmond is RHP Noah Syndergaard, the Mets’ top prospect and one of the best prospects in all of baseball. That type of talent is not getting dealt for a rental. Other prospects I’d be extremely hesitant to move as part of a deal for Desmond include LHP Steven Matz, OF Michael Conforto, and 2B Dilson Herrera.”"
Now that we have Daniel’s take on the trade, check out this slideshow of a profile on these players and what they could bring to the Nationals in future years: