The team at Reviewing the Brew was focused on the NL Central and Wild Card race during September, so we missed a truly awful take from SNY’s John Harper. He came up with a trade idea for the New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers that is unbelievably bad. Find out why below.
That’s right. Milwaukee Brewers MVP candidate Christian Yelich wasn’t enough to pry Noah Syndergaard and Brandon Nimmo from the New York Mets. They had to include Zach Davies to get this deal done. Let’s explore why this deal ranks among the worst sports takes of the year.
How big is the difference between the two sides on paper?
On paper? It’s honestly not as big as most would think. Both Syndergaard and Nimmo were worth more than 4.0 WAR last year. Yelich alone was a 7.6 WAR player, and Davies managed a 0.6 WAR in 13 starts. Davies did post seasons above 2.5 WAR in 2016 and 2017.
It’s not that bad based on the raw numbers from last year, and last year alone. However, this idea needs to be looked at in all aspects to understand how awful it is.
How about the contracts?
Yelich has a contract that takes him through the 2022 season, and will pay him far below the going rate for an MVP candidate. His most expensive season is the final club option year of the deal, and that pays him $15 million. He’ll also only be 30 years old at the end of his current contract.
Davies is coming off an injury-plagued season, but he’s still in his first year of salary arbitration, and won’t reach free agency until the end of the 2021 season.
Syndergaard has three more season of salary arbitration before he hits free agency after the 2021 season. He’s due a raise to $5.9 million in 2019, and will get increasingly expensive until he hits the market.
Nimmo is under team control for 2019, and has three years of arbitration before hitting free agency after 2022. He’s only one year younger than Christian Yelich, but has less than two years of experience at the Major League level.
How about injuries?
Nimmo and Syndergaard both missed time with injuries last year. Nimmo had a few nagging issues that have limited him in 2017 and 2018. Syndergaard missed almost all of 2017 with a partially torn lat muscle, and missed time in 2018 with several issues including foot and mouth disease and a strained right index finger.
Davies missed most of the 2018 season with back and shoulder issues, but was the picture of health in 2017 and 2018.
Yelich wasn’t in the lineup for 16 regular season games in 2018. Most were routine days off, but he did miss a few games with back tightness in June.
What makes this deal so awful?
Yelich is a franchise player in the truest sense of the word. The Milwaukee Brewers aren’t dealing him now or ever if they have any choice. There are several avenues the Brewers can pursue to acquire the top of the rotation starter they’ve been looking for that don’t involve dealing a franchise cornerstone for about 80 cents on the dollar.
The Milwaukee Brewers are a legit contender to represent the National League in the World Series. If anything, they’re going to look to add to their core, not sell off key pieces. There may be a fit for the Brewers and Mets involving one of their pitchers, but there is a zero-percent chance that any deal involves Yelich. SNY’s John Harper might as well have suggested the Mets try to acquire Mookie Betts or Mike Trout. The chances of a successful deal are about the same.