Mets, Brewers call off reported Carlos Gomez trade

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UPDATE, 12:26 AM ET: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says the Mets actually canceled the deal over long-term concerns about Gomez’s hip. Gomez missed some time earlier this season with a right hip issue, but he has played in all but one of the Brewers’ games since June 23. Another odd turn.

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11:02 PM ET: Mets general manager Sandy Alderson just informed the media that the deal has been called off and is not going to be revisited. What a crazy night. The logical explanation here is that the Brewers didn’t like Wheeler’s medicals, but Alderson would not elaborate.

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9:01 PM ET: As first confirmed by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets have officially acquired star center fielder Carlos Gomez from the Brewers. Wilmer Flores, a 23-year-old infielder, and Zack Wheeler, a 25-year-old starting pitcher, are heading to Milwaukee in return. That package was first suggested by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Gomez gives the Mets, who ranked last in runs scored entering Wednesday, a much-needed offensive boost. He’s having a relatively down 2015 season, but the 29-year-old is a year removed from a 23-homer, 34-steal campaign. There’s nothing to suggest he can’t get it together down the stretch.

Gomez is making $8 million this season and $9 million next season. He can then become a free agent.

As for Milwaukee’s return … Flores owns a .278 on-base percentage in 197 career major league games, but he’s shown some pop and he was an all-around force offensively in the minors. Wheeler was a big pitching prospect and would have made the Mets’ rotation this year out of spring training, but he needed Tommy John surgery in March. The right-hander has a 3.50 ERA and 270 strikeouts in 285 1/3 career major league frames.

MLBPA: MLB’s ‘demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected’

Rob Manfred and Tony Clark
LG Patterson/MLB via Getty Images
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On Thursday evening, the Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement regarding ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. The two sides continue to hash out details concerning a 2020 season. The owners want a shorter season, around 50 games. The union recently proposed a 114-game season that also offered the possibility of salary deferrals.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said that the union held a conference call that included the Executive Board and MLBPA player leaders. They “resoundingly rejected” the league’s “demand for additional concessions.”

The full statement:

In this time of unprecedented suffering at home and abroad, Players want nothing more than to get back to work and provide baseball fans with the game we all love. But we cannot do this alone.

Earlier this week, Major League Baseball communicated its intention to schedule a dramatically shortened 2020 season unless Players negotiate salary concessions. The concessions being sought are in addition to billions in Player salary reductions that have already been agreed upon.

This threat came in response to an Association proposal aimed at charting a path forward. Among other things, Players proposed more games, two years of expanded playoffs, salary deferrals in the event of a 2020 playoff cancellation, and the exploration of additional jewel events and broadcast enhancements aimed at creatively bringing our Players to the fans while simultaneously increasing the value of our product. Rather than engage, the league replied it will shorten the season unless Players agree to further salary reductions.

Earlier today we held a conference call of the Association’s Executive Board and several other MLBPA Player leaders. The overwhelming consensus of the Board is that Players are ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions that could affect the health and safety of not just themselves, but their families as well. The league’s demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected.

Important work remains to be done in order to safely resume the season. We stand ready to complete that work and look forward to getting back on the field.

As per the current agreement signed in March, if there is a 2020 season, players will be paid on a prorated basis. Thus, fewer games means the players get paid less and the owners save more. MLB has threatened to unilaterally set a 2020 season in motion if the two sides cannot come to terms. It should come as no surprise that the union has responded strongly on both fronts.

There have been varying reports in recent days over the confidence in a 2020 season happening. The MLBPA’s statement tonight doesn’t move the needle any; it simply affirms that the union remains steadfast in its goal to avoid a second significant cut in salaries.

As I see it, the ball is in the owners’ court. The owners can strongarm the players into a short season, saving money but significantly increasing the odds of a big fight in upcoming collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Or the owners can eat more of a financial loss, agreeing to a longer season than they feel is comfortable. The latter would have the double benefit of not damaging overall perception of the sport and would not disrupt labor peace going forward.

The MLBPA statement included a declaration that the players are “ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions.” If there is no 2020 season, we will have only the owners to blame, not the players.

Update: Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, who has been quite vocal on social media about these negotiations, chimed in: