The Milwaukee Brewers have made their fourth in-season trade so far in 2021, and it’s not even June.
Tuesday night, the Brewers announced they had agreed to a trade with the New York Mets, sending them recently DFA’ed outfielder Billy McKinney in exchange for 17 year old LHP Pedro Quintana.
McKinney, 26, was booted off the 40 man roster a few days prior as the Crew shuffled their roster around. The Mets are going through an injury situation right now that’s about as bad as what the Brewers went through in April and they’re in desperate need for some outfield help.
It’s clear the Mets didn’t want to wait the full seven days for McKinney’s waivers to expire and they didn’t want to risk another team putting in a claim. So they paid a little extra to get their guy.
This is a good trade for both sides as the Brewers pick up a lottery ticket arm in return.
For a DFA’ed player like McKinney, the Brewers knew they weren’t exactly going to get a big time prospect back. Over his last month in a Brewers uniform, from April 21st to May 21st, McKinney hit just .153 in 59 ABs with 17 strikeouts.
With the Brewers top four outfielders healthy again, playing time for McKinney was dwindling and his performance was dropping.
It made sense for Milwaukee to move on and the Mets are a good landing spot for him to get some more regular playing time.
What about LHP Pedro Quintana, the player the Brewers got in return?
There is not much out there about Quintana. He’s a 17 year old LHP that just signed with the Mets as an international free agent out of Venezuela this January. He doesn’t even have Dominican Summer League stats. He’s listed at 5’11” and 165 pounds.
What we do know is that the Brewers have a very strong scouting presence in Venezuela and have had a strong pipeline of Venezuelan talent both at the big league level and in the minor leagues in recent years.
The Brewers likely scouted Quintana a lot in Venezuela. They probably attempted to sign him but were unable to, either because they didn’t have enough money available or he agreed with the Mets before the Crew found him.
This trade presented an opportunity for the Brewers to grab a player that they wanted to sign before, but couldn’t for whatever reason.
There isn’t any public information about what kind of pitches Quintana throws, how hard he throws, etc.
This is a prototypical lottery ticket arm. He’s a teenager with no professional track record, but the Brewers like him enough to trade for him, so they see something in him. David Stearns has taken lottery ticket teenage pitchers in trades before. They did that with the Adam Lind trade a few years ago and the David Phelps trade last year. They hit on one lottery ticket so far in Freddy Peralta.
Milwaukee fans will wish McKinney the best of luck in New York. He’ll always be remembered for his amazing catch in San Diego to keep the shutout going for Corbin Burnes.
Perhaps Pedro Quintana can be the second, but it’ll take several years before we know that.