The New York Mets have been busy spending money in free agency this offseason, most recently sniping shortstop Carlos Correa to a massive contract. The Brewers meanwhile, have been making trades and cutting payroll.
Because of the unique way the Mets have gone about this offseason, a couple of really good players are now without clear paths to playing time and are likely to be on the trade market. It's been add, add, add so far for New York and now they're going to have to trade some players away to clear room.
The Carlos Correa signing only makes this issue more important for New York. With Francisco Lindor already signed to play shortstop, Correa is now reportedly going to move to third base. That means the incumbent third base options are out of a job in Queens for the next 12 years or so.
The Brewers, however, still could stand to upgrade at third base and could take one of those incumbent third basemen not named Carlos Correa off their hands.
Here are two trade targets for the Milwaukee Brewers to pursue from the New York Mets after their signing of Carlos Correa.
Trade Target #1: 3B Eduardo Escobar
The switch hitting infielder came down a bit in 2022, hitting .240 with a .726 OPS and 20 home runs with a 106 OPS+. With the Brewers and Diamondbacks in 2021, Escobar hit a combined .253 with a .786 OPS, 28 homers, and a 109 OPS+.
Overall, Escobar is still fairly productive and has one year remaining on his contract. His salary in 2023 is $9.5MM and he has a club option for 2024.
New York is motivated to move Escobar. Clearing his salary when he won't be playing much for them is an easy call to make. But the Mets lack leverage. Everyone knows Correa is taking over third base and Escobar is out of a job there but he can still be a starter for someone else. The Brewers can offer very little in return and still get Escobar if they'd like.
Escobar can play both third base and some first base if needed since the Brewers gave him some experience there in 2021. Perhaps they can even get the Mets to kick in some money to cover his contract since they clearly have so much of it available to spend.
Trade Target #2: INF Mark Vientos
Mark Vientos is the Mets' third base prospect that's major league ready. He made his debut last season, playing in just 16 games towards the end of the year. Now that he's ready, he's blocked on a clear path to playing time.
Vientos has some versatility, being able to play both third base and first base. He's young, cheap, and still controllable for six more seasons, which is music to Milwaukee's ears. Acquiring Vientos would likely cost a little more in terms of the return package since he is a young, valuable prospect, but he'd be a great bat to add to the Brewers organization.
Over the past two years across Double-A and Triple-A, Vientos has had 24 homer and 25 homer seasons, hitting .280 or higher in both years with a .933 OPS in 2021 and a .877 OPS in 2022. Vientos hits for power and so far has been hitting for average. Sounds like a good guy to have.
Both of these players are blocked from starting jobs for the foreseeable future in New York but could still be valuable starters elsewhere, like Milwaukee. If the Brewers prefer a short-term veteran plug and play option, they could pursue Escobar in a trade. If the Brewers prefer a young, inexpensive option with upside that's ready for a bigger role, they could pursue Vientos. Either way, Matt Arnold should make some outgoing phone calls to Queens about making a deal.