The Morning Report 12.28.2015 | Daniel Murphy Signs With Washington Nationals, How does Lagares/De Aza Combo Stack Up in MLB

Mike Daniello | SportsQuotient- Daniel Murphy is returning to the NL East for 2016, but not with the New York Mets. Murphy reached a deal with one of the Mets’ biggest rivals, the Washington Nationals. Washington scooped Murphy up and gave him $37.5 million over three years, making him the fifth-highest paid second baseman in the game. Is Murphy the piece that gets Washington back into the playoffs? Will he give the Nationals their first ever World Series? It’s tough to say for a career .288 hitter, who banked a check solely from his historic postseason.

(Chris Soto: Oh man....talk about adding another layer to the already intense current day rivalry between the Nationals and the Mets. The Nationals will move 2B Danny Espinosa to SS to replace Ian Desmond and the Murphy will be the club's new 2B. Are the Nationals better with Murphy over Desmond in their line-up? If your talking solely 2015 then absolutely, but outside of his terrible 2015 season Desmond has long been a 20 HR/20 SB guy with a .250-.260 average. That is superb coming from a middle IF spot and is something that Murphy just cannot duplicate. Definitely a downgrade for the Nationals year over year.)

Mark Simon ESPN New York- We’re about 3 1/2 months from the start of the season, but right now it looks like the Mets will go with a platoon of newly signed Alejandro De Aza and defensive standout Juan Lagares in center field. The reasoning for this is fairly straightforward. De Aza hits right-handed pitching well, doesn’t hit well against left-handed pitching, but Lagares does. The consensus we got from speaking with a pair of major-league scouts is that the Mets are trying to maximize the skills of two players who would rank in the lower half of center fielders if they were the primary starter at the position. ZiPs system projected a .257/.319/.403 slashline with nine home runs and 12 steals for De Aza and it views Lagares as a likely two-win player in 2016, despite a slashline of .261/.297/.369

(Chris Soto: The two player's ZIPs projections are both based on if either one of them were full-time starters which isn't how the Mets plan to deploy the duo. If we use their career splits, break them down into "per game" units and then extrapolate them up to a 162 game season, accounting for last year's frequency of when they faced Lefties or Righties.....here is what we get: .274 AVG, .752 OPS, 12 HR, 58 RBI, 23 SB, 21.6% K rate, 8.2% BB Rate. That OPS would rank the combo as the 14th best CF [Middle of the Road] in the entire MLB in 2015 just ahead of Brett Gardner and behind Dexter Fowler. Within the National League only they would rank 8th [Middle of Road], and in solely the NL East they would be better than the Braves Cameron Maybin and the Nationals Michael Taylor...but worse than the Phillies Odubal Herrera and the Marlins Christian Yelich.)

HOT STOVE REPORT (courtesy of mlbtraderumor.com)
  • All Quite on the Hot Stove.


eraff said...

Most of this off season revolves around their decision to Sign/not sign Cespedes.... that's Mostly a Financial consideration.

It may also be a reflection of their philosophy on team building.

They seem to be constructing a basic roster---and it's a roster that is far better than the one they began with last year...it's also a roster with a Major question mark in the middle of their lineup and at 3rd base.

I am trying to recollect a team that dramatically "won" both the Hot Stove and the World Series.

They have kept a good deal of trade stock... and Money????..."Dry" and ready for "team Completion" at a later date----June?...July???? Will they spend the money and prospects again????

I believe they should sign Cespee.... and I also believe that the World Series won't be won by "winning" the Hot Stove.

Anonymous said...

I suppose that I can accept that the decision on YC is "mostly financial" but do think a case can be made that it is a risky investment outside of brokenness/cheapness. His price has already come down dramatically and there are other teams rebuffing his desire to go beyond 4 years, so there is some baseball sense underlying their decision not to go whole hog. it is all speculation at this point, but it is solely my opinion that YC is going to vastly underperform on the contract he will get. Sure, you can look at his hot two months and declare him a superstar, but there are larger samples in his four years in the league that were below average, so the question is "who is the real YC?" I think he regresses to his norm (others are predicting a much larger drop off) and his norm is not worth 6/$150. 4/$90-100? I think the Mets would be back in and frankly, I think this is where the market will go for him
Anon Joe F

bgreg98180 said...

Where is the "below avg" reference coming from?

Cespedes stats
2015: .291 avg. 105 rbi. 101 Runs. 159 Games
2014: .261 Avg. 100 Rbi. 89 Runs. 152 Games
2013: .240 avg. 84 Rbi. 70 Runs. 135 Games
2012: .292 avg. 82 Rbi. 70 Runs. 129 Games

Mack Ade said...

Morning all -

The Cespedes discussion continues if for no other reason that there isn't that much more happens each morning.

Bob, that's a lot of ribbys

Tom Brennan said...

If Cespedes price drops, drop an offer on him and grab him.
But the combined Lagares and de Aza numbers are not bad. On paper. Let's see de Aza with NYC pressure.

Mack Ade said...

on the other hand, the subject of Cespedes represents the direction the brain trust (sic) of this team is taking us...

I wish we knew what Cespedes thought about all of this

Herb G said...

Your analysis is superior to Mark Simon's because you take lefty/righty splits into account. Assuming De Aza gets 60% of the total ABs, I get a triple slash line of .276/.333/.422 with an OPS of .755 for the platoon. In my book, that's pretty damn good for a #8 hitter, which is where I think they'll be placed in the lineup.

Christopher Soto said...


In my analysis (which isn't perfect by any means) Lagares gets all the ABs vs lefties, de Aza vs all righties..

That means we would see De Aza 77% of the time.

eraff said...


I don't know whether they will participate at Market Price for Big Players---define him as you'd like...he's a BIG Player. He's not perfect...and I don;t support massive over pays or time commitments, but I do believe that AT MARKET commitments seem to be against their financial direction---6/150....4/80//// whatever

Tom Brennan said...

If Lagares is 100% healthy, he has to play against more than just lefties. The Glove. How they shake it out, as to who gets how many ABs, time will tell.

Zozo said...

WTF is wrong with Sandy? Couldn't he offer a better package then that for Chapman? The Yankees got him for a bag of balls. If he gets suspended more than 45 days he is not a free agent for 2 years.

Mack Ade said...

I'm sure there was some desire to get Chapman out of the National League.

Herb G said...


I used the 60-40 spread because I believe Lagares is going to get a fair number of ABs against righties. I think Sandy is using this year to determine if Lagares can regain the full time CF job by mid season or for 2017.


Sandy, or any other GM, could have offered a better package for Chapman. Difference is, Sandy doesn't want scumbags in the clubhouse.

bgreg98180 said...

Appearantly Alderson does not want hitters that hit for average, make good consistent contact, proven rbi hitters, proven run producers, or 3rd and 4th place hitters in his club house either.

Zozo said...

Charges weren't pressed against him and a lot of these cases against these stars are blown out of proportion. I am not saying he didn't do something stupid but until proven guilty I would have offered them crap for him as well. He will also bring you back a future number 1 pick if he doesn't get hurt.
Sandy doesn't offer anyone crap anyways, how many Cuban stars has he bid on since he got here?

Christopher Soto said...

Late start on today's morning report......nasty little Ice storm has me behind today