Brewers GM Doug Melvin acknowledged in an interview this weekend that the Mets and Brewers could fit well together as trading partners.
“They’ve indicated that they have extra first basemen, and we have a need,” Melvin said. “Again, it’s all about keeping your options open. … Nothing imminent, and I don’t anticipate anything imminent. But first base is one of our needs, they have excess first basemen, so you can tie two and two together — and come up with three.”
The Mets have a need in the outfield and tradeable assets at first base, while the Brewers are in the opposite situation. Both Lucas Duda and Ike Davis are young and under affordable team control for the foreseeable future, so the Brewers could have interest in trading for one of the two. In return, the Mets could ask for one of Milwaukee’s solid outfielders. Carlos Gomez would be unrealistic unless the Mets were willing to sweeten the package, but Norichika Aoki could be a fair return in exchange for Davis or Duda.
Aoki is a solid player and is definitely an upgrade over the likes of Mike Baxter in the outfield, but I wouldn’t trade Ike Davis for him. Davis reportedly has a good amount of value on the market this winter, and given that he is only a season removed from a 32 HR campaign and quite solid in the field, the Mets should be in no rush to move him. I’m all for moving Davis if he can be involved in a deal to bring us a game-changing power bat in the outfield or at shortstop, but the Mets have no reason to just give him away unless the right deal presents itself. I would trade Ike (and a bit more) for Gomez, but I wouldn’t consider swapping him for Aoki. Duda is another story. He is worse in the field and has less potential at the plate than Davis, and he has less value on the market. I would be happy to get a solid—not great, but solid— outfielder such as Aoki back in exchange for Duda.
However, if Aoki is our biggest splash of the offseason, or even just our biggest splash in the outfield, I will be quite disappointed. Again, Aoki is a solid player, but the Mets need game-changing bats, and Aoki does not fit under that category. If Alderson can swap Duda for Aoki, it would be a nice first step to rebuilding the outfield and the lineup. But if that trade were to happen, it would only be the first of many measures that must be taken Alderson and the Wilpons to put a competitive team on the field in Flushing.