Marlins Acquire Dee Gordon and Dan Haren

The Miami Marlins have traded left-handed pitching prospect Andrew Heaney, second baseman Enrique Hernandez, righty reliever Chris Hatcher and catching prospect Austin Barnes to the Dodgers for Dee Gordon and Dan Haren.

Interesting deal from both sides; I’m not sure I understand it from either.

My uneducated take is this: the Dodgers are selling high on Gordon, dumping Haren, and getting a nice package of near-ready prospects to stock their minor league system. The Marlins are making the deal to show everyone they are in “win-now” mode — and by “everyone,” I mean potential season-ticket buyers primarily, and free agents secondarily.

First off, I have always been a huge fan of Gordon, and believed he’d be a good fit for the Mets. However, the Mets weren’t interested in the speedster, probably because he doesn’t get on base enough (remember, that was Jose Reyes‘ fatal flaw), and probably also because they can only get 25 cents on the dollar for Daniel Murphy. Finally, they probably don’t think Dee Gordon can handle shortstop well enough to be an everyday option there; or at least, he hasn’t shown any proclivity toward hitting enough homeruns to make up (in the Mets’ myopic view) for his defensive deficiency at the position.

And while I love Dee Gordon, I wonder if the Fish overpaid to get him — and Haren, for that matter. Gordon had a breakout year in 2014, and, IF he can repeat that performance, is an absolutely perfect fit for Marlins Park. But was he worth the price of Heaney, who was the best college LHP available in the 2012 draft and Miami’s #1 prospect in 2013? Oh, yes, the Fish also received Haren, who had something of a bounce-back year in 2014, but remains a shadow of the pitcher we remember from the dominant innings-eater of 2005-2011. Haren is an “okay” five-inning fifth starter now, with wild inconsistency from start to start. Essentially, he’s a throw-in, and a salary dump by LA. At best, he’ll go 12-12 with a 4.20-4.50 ERA, and compile about 175-185 innings. That’s OK for a #5 guy, assuming he remains healthy and takes the ball every fifth day, 32 times. If he doesn’t, well, his value is nil.

Why should a Mets fan give a flying peacock about this trade? (And yes, peacocks CAN fly — sort of, though it’s more like long leaps or a “drifting” activity.) Besides the obvious of course — that the Marlins, on paper, look a bit better after making the deal. There’s another point to draw from this transaction: the cost of middling middle infielders, and position players in general — as well as the value of young, untested pitchers. If you aren’t aware, Heaney isn’t so very different from Mets prized prospect Noah Syndegaard, and it took him, plus a reliever who throws in the mid-90s, plus a decent (but not great) catching prospect, plus a questionable middle-infield prospect to net a second baseman who posted a .704 OPS and has only one “plus” MLB tool (speed). To put into perspective, a somewhat comparable Mets package to get Gordon and Haren would’ve been something (though not necessarily exactly) like Syndegaard, Gonzalez Germen, Kevin Plawecki, and Wilfredo Tovar. Maybe the Mets could’ve replaced Plawecki with Cam Maron or Xorge Carrillo, but who knows — it’s all guesswork and it doesn’t matter, other than to illustrate the cost of a proven, albeit less-than-outstanding, MLB middle infielder. So for Mets fans wondering what it would take to get Starlin Castro, Xander Bogaerts, Elvis Andrus, or the like, be prepared to part with Syndegaard as a START. I imagine the conversation starts with Syndegaard in talks for Brad Miller or Chris Taylor, as well. The bar has been set.

Oh, and then there’s the other thing that Mets fans should be concerned about: publicly, the Marlins are showing that they are “in” to compete in 2015. Yes, the Phillies are definitely in rebuilding mode, but as long as the Fish are serious, and the Braves are retooling, it will be no cakewalk in the NL East.

UPDATE: according to various sources, it appears that the Dodgers have flipped Heaney to the Angels in return for second baseman Howie Kendrick. And so the plot thickens …

Does this mean the Angels might be in play for Daniel Murphy?

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.