The Milwaukee Brewers have traded outfielder Carlos Gomez to the New York Mets in exchange for infielder Wilmer Flores and pitcher Zack Wheeler.
The trade returns Gomez to the organization where he began his professional career. The Mets signed the Dominican born Gomez at the age of 16 in 2002. Gomez made his MLB debut with the Mets in 2007 (the year when the team blew a 7 game lead with two weeks left in the season and ceded the NL East to the Philadelphia Phillies). The Mets would trade Gomez to the Minnesota Twins prior to the 2008 season in the Johan Santana deal. Gomez did not live up to expectations in Minnesota and they would deal him to the Brewers prior to the 2010 season for shortstop J.J. Hardy who is now with the Baltimore Orioles.
It took awhile but Gomez smoothed out his rough edges in 2013 when he hit .284 with 24 HR and 73 RBI which earned him his first NL All-Star selection. He also won his first Gold Glove for his play in centerfield. Gomez had virtually the same stats in 2014 and another All-Star appearance. In 73 games for the last place Brewers, Gomez is hitting .266 with 8 HR and 43 RBI. Gomez, 29, is under contract to the Mets through 2016.
The Mets have been busy in the days leading up to the trade deadline acquiring Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson from the Braves and reliever Tyler Clippard from the A’s. The Clippard deal proved to be wise as Jeurys Mejia, having just come back from an 80-game suspension for PED use, tested positive yet again and has now been suspended for 162 games. As for Gomez, the Mets get a Gold Glove calibre centerfielder plus a good bat. It remains to be seen if the Mets are done dealing. If they are they will be far better poised to face the NL East division leading Washington Nationals this weekend. As of this writing, the Nationals have a one game lead over the Mets.
As for the Brewers, they get Flores who has some pop in his bat with 10 HR and 40 RBI along with a .249 batting average in 92 games with the Mets this season. However, Flores had begun to lose playing time at short to Ruben Tejada. The addition of both Johnson and Uribe made Flores expendable. Could the Brewers be thinking of giving Jean Segura some competition at short or do they plan to play Flores, who turns 24 next month, at second? But the Brewers are thinking long term and this is where Zack Wheeler comes in. Wheeler will not pitch this season because of Tommy John surgery. But Wheeler is still only 25 and could prove to be the Brewers ace of the future. In 2014, Wheeler went 11-11 with a 3.54 ERA striking 187 batters in 185 1/3 innings. Originally a first round draft pick of the San Francisco Giants in 2009, the Mets obtained Wheeler at the trade deadline in 2011 in exchange for Carlos Beltran.
But it will take awhile for this trade to pay full dividends for the Brewers. This trade could be the difference in the Mets winning the NL East.
UPDATE:Maybe not. Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters following the team’s loss to the San Diego Padres there’s no deal. Something must have happened on Milwaukee’s end and got cold feet on Wheeler. Because when Flores was told he was traded he was in tears on the field and Mets manager Terry Collins had to tell him to hold it together. Gomez had a selfie taken with Martin Maldonado congratulating him on his run with the Brewers and was looking forward to playing in a pennant race. Now he’s stuck in Milwaukee. For now.