Carlos Gomez Not Traded; Brewers Nation Shakes its Head
Carlos Gomez remains a Brewer.
This may not seem very surprising, if you weren’t following MLB Network last night. They, among others, had reported that the Milwaukee Brewers were about to trade Carlos Gomez to the New York Mets in exchange for pitcher Zack Wheeler and infielder Wilmer Flores. (Wheeler is on the disabled list with Tommy John surgery, and Flores is playing out of position at shortstop; he’s projected to be a power hitter in the major leagues, possibly at the third base position.) The deal was reported as all but done, pending physicals…
Then Sandy Alderson, GM of the Mets, said this: “The deal will not transpire.”
After all that, there are now conflicting reports saying that the Mets did not like Carlos Gomez’s health issues of the past season. And that the Brewers didn’t like the extensive arm surgery Wheeler endured.
Whatever the truth is, the only thing this Brewers fan knows is that Gomez remains in a Brewers uniform. Which is, on balance, a good thing.
Look. I get annoyed sometimes with Gomez because of his baserunning blunders and his propensity to strike out. But he’s an outstanding outfielder, and his defense makes up for a lot.
This trade, from my perspective, made very little sense for two reasons.
First, if you trade Gomez and then trade Gerardo Parra (long rumored to be on his way out of town due to his contact being up at the end of the year), who is going to play center field?
I mean, look at who’s left on the team. You have Ryan Braun, Shane Peterson, and Khris Davis left. Braun is the fastest of them, but he’s not a center fielder and has been dealing with back spasms lately. Peterson is a decent left fielder who possibly would be better off at first base, long-term. And Davis, while he does have some speed in the outfield, cannot throw to save his life.
None of them are well-suited to playing center field. Which means the Brewers would either have to trade for someone, or they’d have to bring up the only pure center fielder in the Brewers organization: Logan Schafer.
And Schafer has had multiple opportunities to show he can hit major league pitching…and hasn’t managed to convince me or anyone else that he can.
Second, Zack Wheeler is on the DL and can’t help anyone for at least another full year. (I’m sure Brewers fans remember just how long it took Chris Capuano and Ben Sheets to recover from arm surgery; well, we’re looking at a similar time-frame for Wheeler.) Even if Wheeler comes back fully from his Tommy John procedure, he’ll have to relearn his arm mechanics and possibly have to reinvent himself as a pitcher. (Stephen Strasburg is struggling with doing just that right now, which shows that recovery from Tommy John is not as automatic as some make it out to be.)
So here’s where we stand, Brewers fans:
Carlos Gomez remains on the team, meaning Milwaukee continues to have a solid-to-better center fielder patrolling the outfield.
And both the Brewers and Mets have leaked conflicting information regarding the proposed trade, so no one’s completely sure exactly why this proposed trade was nixed.
What a mess.