Anyone who has listened to the show for any extended period of time knows that I despise advanced analytics.
I really can’t stand the number-crunching that some of these nerds do and I just don’t recognize their statistical analysis on any basis.
I prefer judging players on heart, guts, leadership and performance. I like the guys that will run through the wall for his coach and his teammates over the guy who has a defensive efficiency rating that is two-tenths of a percent higher than the other guy.
With that being said, the analytics guys hate the Diamondbacks’ trade of Ender Inciarte, Dansby Swanson and Aaron Blair for Shelby Miller and prospect Gabe Speier. Something about wins above replacement and defensive runs saved.
Yada yada yada.
I will take this trade from my perspective.
The Diamondbacks got a legit No. 2 starting pitcher who is 25-years-old and has a St. Louis Cardinals pedigree. He’s also under control for three more years and they didn’t give up A.J. Pollock. The Diamondbacks are clearly in a win-now mode and Blair and Swanson weren’t coming this year and Inciarte, whom I like, is replaceable.
Getting Miller, who has a big arm and hits 93-95 mph consistently and can touch 96 with the fastball and has a power sinker, makes everyone better. It moves Patrick Corbin down to the third spot in the rotation it takes pressure off the bullpen. The Diamondbacks have a 1-2 punch that is necessary if you want to win in the playoffs.
It’s insane how many of these analytics guys overvalue prospects. Swanson has played three months of pro ball. Maybe he will be good, maybe he won’t. I don’t know and neither do they. And besides, with a pitching staff as good as Arizona has right now I think the D-backs are best suited to keep Nick Ahmed at shortstop.
Ahmed is one of the three best defensive shortstops in baseball and I think even those analytics guys can back that up. So it’s not like the D-backs don’t have a really good shortstop and were in dire need of Swanson. Blair was not as highly regarded as Archie Bradley or Braden Shipley so Arizona still has two big-time pitching prospects in their system. Plus they have some great young arms in the minors like Yoan Lopez, Alex Young, Cody Reed and Anthony Banda.
And I love Ender. I do. I love his passion for the game and he is a real gamer. He brings a lot to the table. But I have a feeling last year is as good as it gets for him. He doesn’t walk and isn’t a high on-base percentage guy (no that is not analytics).
Arizona will miss his defense. He’s is very good out there. But they have Socrates Brito, who was outstanding as a September call-up, and they still have Pollock, David Peralta and Yasmany Tomas. Inciarte, while a tough loss, is replaceable.
Would D-backs fans rather have made the Miami trade. Trust me on this, as this is the first time you will hear exactly what the Marlins wanted for Jose Fernandez. To lure the stud 23-year-old away from Miami, the D-backs would have had to part with — drum roll please — Pollock, Corbin, Bradley, Shipley, Chase Anderson and Brandon Drury.
Now, that would have been highway robbery. This deal with the Braves isn’t. It’s just a good trade for both teams as Atlanta is rebuilding and needs prospects and Arizona is going for it all this year. This deal with Atlanta keeps Arizona’s best team on the field right now. They exchange one major leaguer outfielder for a bona fide No. 2 pitcher.
As with all trades, time will tell. But the Diamondbacks are an instant contender right now and they are going for it all while Paul Goldschmidt is still in his prime.
And there is nothing wrong with that.
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