Milwaukee Brewers: Who won the Mike Fiers / Carlos Gomez trade?

Matthew Dewoskin
Apr 30, 2017; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Domingo Santana (16) celebrates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 30, 2017; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Domingo Santana (16) celebrates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /
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Domingo Santana, Milwaukee Brewers
Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

After a deal with the New York Mets fell through, the Milwaukee Brewers dealt starting pitcher Mike Fiers and center fielder Carlos Gomez to the Houston Astros for four prospects on July 30, 2015. Was the deal that didn’t happen a blessing in disguise or would it haunt the Brewers for years to come? Let’s find out.

It was revealed that the Milwaukee Brewers had a trade in place with the New York Mets to send Gomez for injured starting pitcher Zack Wheeler and infielder Wilmer Flores. The Mets medical staff was worried about Gomez’ hip, and the deal fell apart. The question remains, how bad was his hip that the Mets(!) medical staff was concerned about it?

Instead, they worked out a deal with the Houston Astros for prospect Brett Phillips, MLB-ready outfielder Domingo Santana, current uber-prospect Josh Hader, and the currently rehabbing Adrian Houser.

How Did The Trade Help The Astros?

The acquisition of Gomez and Fiers helped spur the Astros to earn a Wild Card berth. The team’s first playoff appearance since losing the World Series in 2005.

In 2015, Gomez was mediocre with the Brewers, and slightly worse for the Astros. He appeared in 41 games and posted a .670 OPS with four homers and 10 steals. His .594 OPS was even worse in 2016, and he was ultimately released in August.

Fiers made nine starts with the Astros in 2015 with Astros. He posted a respectable 3.32 ERA, but only managed a 2-1 record. Most of his value came from a No-Hitter he threw on August 21st. He’s still occupying space in the Astros’ rotation. He posted a 4.48 ERA in 168 2/3 innings of work and lead the league in wild pitches with 17. His ERA currently sits at 5.14 for the 2017 season.

How Did The Trade Help The Brewers?

Adrian Houser made his debut during a September call up in 2015. The imposing righty has struggled to establish his secondary pitches and recently underwent elbow surgery. His future at the Major League level is cloudy at best.

Domingo Santana has yet to turn 25 and he already has 177 games played at the Major League level. He appeared to be ready to break out in 2016, but suffered elbow and shoulder injuries that cost him a large portion of the season. Santana owns a .787 OPS with 22 homers and 210 strikeouts in his brief career with the Milwaukee Brewers. He also constantly seems like he’s a week or two away from finally figuring things out.

Brett Phillips is currently shredding Triple-A pitching in his age-23 season with Colorado Springs. He may be ahead of Lewis Brinson in terms of who gets the next call up for the Brewers. In 38 games with the Sky Sox this year, Phillips has a .952 OPS with nine home runs and a 48:20 K:BB ratio. He appears to have a very bright future at the Major League level. The problem is that the Brewers have an insanely crowded outfield.

Josh Hader may be the best left-handed pitching prospect in all of baseball right now. In 2016, he spent time in Double-A and Triple-A, and managed to strike out 161 batters in 126 innings. He’s struggled in the Pacific Coast League, but it’s also clear that he has a very clear plan for his path to Milwaukee. He needs to further develop his secondary pitches in order to have a chance to make it as a starter in the Majors. If his secondary stuff doesn’t develop the way the Brewers want it to, he may very well end up as the next ridiculously popular high-leverage reliever.

What About The Mets?

In 2015, the Mets actually made the playoffs with Juan Lagares as their center fielder. They managed to get past the Dodgers in the Division Series, swept the Cubs out of the NLCS, and…ran into the buzzsaw that was the 2015 Kansas City Royals in the World Series.

Zack Wheeler missed all of 2015 and 2016 with Tommy John surgery and complications from the procedure. He was actually on the DL when the Brewers initially tried to acquire him. He’s made eight starts this season, but is likely on a strict innings limit, and won’t pitch into late August or September.

Wilmer Flores has spent the last two full seasons on the Mets’ Major League roster. He has a pair of 16-homer seasons on his resume, but, much like Santana, can’t seem to establish himself. Flores hasn’t turned 26 years old yet, but he may be wearing out his welcome in New York. He owns a .708 OPS in 374 games at the Major League level.

Next: Who Won The Yovani Gallardo Deal?

The trade winds appear to have worked in the Milwaukee Brewers favor this time. Wheeler may never have another 30-start season, and Wilmer Flores is even more frustrating than Domingo Santana. Add in the three other prospects, and the Fiers/Gomez deal will only get better with age.

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