UPDATE: It appears that this scenario has some legs, as FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets are trying to get Bruce. Wheeler and perhaps another player would head back to Cincinnati. The Mets are also exploring other options, so nothing is close yet.
9:08 p.m. ET: As the Mets try to pick up the pieces after their deal for Carlos Gomez fell apart, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that they have an interesting proposal to consider from the Reds:
Andy Martino and Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reported over the weekend that the Mets were shopping Wheeler and the Reds were among the teams who inquired on him. The 25-year-old underwent Tommy John surgery in March and will likely be out until around midseason next year, but he has shown promise in the early part of his career and remains under team control through 2019.
Bruce, 28, is batting .257/.341/.486 with 17 home runs, 56 RBI, and six steals over 96 games this season. He’s owed $12.5 million next season and his contract includes a $13 million club option or a $1 million buyout for 2017. The Mets haven’t earned the benefit of the doubt about their ability to spend to bring in talent, so it’s unclear whether this is a realistic fit. It’s also an imperfect one, as their greatest need is in center field. If Bruce was brought in, the Mets could consider moving Curtis Granderson to center and play Bruce in right while keeping rookie Michael Conforto in left and using Juan Lagares off the bench.
When the Dodgers picked up Michael Morse in today’s mega 13-player deal with the Marlins and Braves, there was some speculation that it was strictly about the money involved and that he wouldn’t play a game for the team. Sure enough, the Dodgers announced tonight that they have designated Morse for assignment. Oh, but that’s not all…
Yes, the Dodgers designated four players for assignment to make room for their new additions. You don’t see this sort of thing very often.
Between the money owed to Morse (including $8 million next season), Mat Latos, Hector Olivera, and Bronson Arroyo, the Dodgers agreed to cover more than $40 million in order to get this deal done. This franchise exists in a different universe from everyone else.
UPDATE: The deal is official. The Astros will also receive slot #76 in the 2015-2016 international pool as part of the trade.
7:33 p.m. ET: Carlos Gomez was nearly dealt to the Mets last night before the deal fell apart, but it didn’t take long for the Brewers to find a new suitor. According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Astros have agreed to acquire Gomez and right-hander Mike Fiers from the Brewers. By the way, Heyman hears that Gomez has already passed the Astros’ medical review.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Milwaukee will receive outfielders Brett Phillips, Domingo Santana, right-hander Adrian Houser, and left-hander Josh Hader.
After acquiring left-hander Scott Kazmir from the Athletics last week, it’s clear that the Astros are all in. Gomez has seen a dip in production at the plate this year, but he’s still one of the best defensive center fielders in the game and is under contract for $9 million next season. Fiers, 30, has posted a 3.89 ERA over 21 starts this season and should make for another solid addition to Houston’s rotation. He’s not arbitration-eligible for the first time until after the 2016 season, so this move isn’t just about this season.
The Mets reportedly backed out of the trade for Gomez last night due to concerns about his hip, but there was a report out of Milwaukee this morning which stated that the deal broke down primarily because of financial issues. That looks pretty accurate at the moment.