In his first piece for MLBTR’s newly-minted newsletter (subscribe in the sidebar at the right), Tim Dierkes argued that the Brewers ought to strongly consider dealing star center fielder Carlos Gomez. As he explained, Gomez has immense present value that is probably worth more to another club than to Milwaukee.
Nothing has changed since that time, as the Brewers remain buried in a highly competitive NL Central. True, Gomez has battled through some relatively minor injury issues, but he’s also bounced back from a tepid start. Over the month of May, he slashed .265/.318/.461 with four home runs and five stolen bases — numbers that fall shy of his impressive output over the last two seasons but nevertheless suggest he’s well on his way to getting back on track.
Best of all, of course, is the fact that Gomez is owed only $9MM for next season and the balance of an $8MM salary this year. That puts him within reach of any team in baseball — remember, the Royals took on even more salary when they acquired James Shields — and makes him the rare premium player who is both available and affordable. A team weighing the departure of big-named prospects would be comforted by the knowledge both that Gomez would remain a big trade piece next summer or in the offseason (remember, that’s what the A’s did with Jeff Samardzija) and that the team would stand to recoup a draft pick through the qualifying offer if they kept him for the duration of his contract.
An impact player with a budget contract ought to bring back a big return. In his second newsletter, Tim listed several plausible suitors and interesting trade pieces that the Brewers could pursue. He tabs the Yankees, Mariners, Blue Jays, and Angels as the most likely possible trade partners.
As Tim argued, it’s entirely possible that Milwaukee could actually improve its near-term and long-term outlook by moving Gomez (if not also stud catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who the club will likely be less amenable to discussing). But all the things that make Gomez so appealing to the rest of the league also make him a rare commodity for a smaller-budget club like the Brewers.
So, we’ll ask the MLBTR readers: would the Brewers be better off dealing Gomez, or holding onto him in hopes of building around him for another season?