Having already supplemented their bullpen with a very effective reliever, the Milwaukee Brewers will be turning to their battered rotation (earlier rumor on Matt Harvey here) and woeful middle infield (earlier Twins rumors here).
Of course, I’m sure they’d be thrilled if they could fill both of those holes with very good players in one fell swoop. And Cubs fines might be mildly nervous.
Enter the Mets:
#Mets discussing both Wheeler and Cabrera with #Brewers, sources tell The Athletic. No indication a deal is close. NYM also talking about players separately with other teams. #DBacks one of several on Cabrera, as first noted by @Buster_ESPN.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 27, 2018
Hope for Mets is if they package Wheeler and Cabrera to Brewers they can create some value for Cabrera. If traded alone, you get a couple hot dogs and a lower level prospect. @Ken_Rosenthal reports they are talking and @martinonyc can add that you should keep an eye on this one
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) July 27, 2018
As Martino’s tweet suggests, Asdrubal Cabrera may not have a ton of trade value on his own (defense is not great, he’s 32, he’s making $8.5 million this year), but he’s certainly been excellent at the plate this season (.277/.329/.488, 122 wRC+). Still, he’s been dealing with a hamstring issue since mid-June, so apparently there are some concerns going forward about how he’ll be impacted. (He’s raked in July, for what that’s worth.)
Wheeler, 28, has been a HEALTHY and solid starter for the Mets this year, not something he’s consistently been able to pull off since 2014. His peripherals are better than his 4.33 ERA, though not overwhelmingly so. Still, because of the injury past he’s dirt cheap, and comes with another very cheap year of arbitration next season before hitting free agency in 2020. To the Brewers, that would have significant value.
Together, if healthy, these two players could have a marked impact on the Brewers’ competitiveness down the stretch, particularly when you consider how dire their need at those two spots. The price tag, I’d think, would be pretty sizable for both players, but the Brewers still have a very deep farm system, and could certainly make a deal without decimating it.
The Brewers are currently 2.5 games behind the Cubs in the NL Central, and hold the top Wild Card spot.