I’m not usually one to buy into the whole butterfly flapping its wings theory, when it comes to one event affecting the next, but after reading Anthony Castrovince’s latest at MLB.com, I may have to reconsider. This is seriously one of the most interesting and bizarre stories I’ve ever read, and the impact a few tears had on the rest of baseball history is almost unbelievable.
You can not afford to miss it:
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) April 9, 2020
In short, back during the 2015 season, the New York Mets were making their run to the World Series (which, incidentally and frustratingly went through the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS), when they decided they needed to add a bat at the deadline. After some deliberation, the Mets and Brewers had come to terms on a deal that would have sent Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flores to the Brewers for Carlos Gomez.
Unfortunately, Wilmer Flores caught word of the deal while he was still playing for the Mets, and, well, this part is quite memorable:
The baseball world was sucked into a weird reality, wherein the fans at the stadium had heard about the trade, while Flores, the Mets, and their manager had not. Eventually, the deal was squashed (despite both sides actually thinking it was done), and the rest is history.
But hooooooo boy is that history nuts.
At MLB.com, Anthony Castrovince enlisted the help of Doug Melvin (Brewers GM), Zach Minasian (Brewers pro scouting director), Sandy Alderson (Mets GM), Adam Fisher (Mets director of baseball ops), Terry Collins (Mets manager), Craig Counsell (Brewers Manager), plus players Daniel Murphy, Carlos Gomez, Wilmer Flores, Zack Wheeler, Josh Hader, Mike Fiers, and others to reconstruct what made the deal break down … and everything that happened next.
As you can imagine, there are some really interesting side-stories and inconsistencies that come out of the effort:
As well as some good behind the scenes narratives, we’re rarely privy too, like, for example, a team not wanting to trade with another team after they pissed them off the year prior:
And, of course, the emotional impact on the players is always quite revealing:
But the craziest part of the entire story is not exactly what didn’t happen, because of the tears from Wilmer Flores (or “Carlos Gomez’s injured hip”), but instead what did happen.
The squashed deal wound up …
- Keeping Wilmer Flores in New York, where he’d play shortstop during the World Series after Ruben Tejada broke his leg
- Keeping Zack Wheeler in New York, where his 8.9 WAR over the last two seasons led to a massive 5-year, $118M contract with the Phillies this offseason
- Bringing Yoenis Cespedes to the Mets, where his bat would lead them to the World Series
- Sending Michael Fulmer to the Tigers
- Bringing Josh Hader to the Brewers (grumble)
- Sending Mike Fiers to the Astros, who’d he’d later expose for cheating
It’s truly an insane story, with so many ridiculous downstream impacts from multiple World Series to the biggest scandal in baseball history. Whether or not Flores’ tears were the exact cause of the squashed deal is up for debate, but Gomez was traded to the Astros later on, so … who’s to say? What a story.
PLEASE be sure to check out Castrovince’s article, because it is some of the most candid commentary you’ll ever hear from so many in the game. Very, very cool stuff.