Amid reports from national reporters that the Mets have increased their offer for Jonathan Lucroy, the Brewers catcher finds himself out of the lineup this evening. It’s clearly not just a normal day off since his last was just two days ago. Could today finally be the day Milwaukee unloads it’s biggest trade asset?
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported earlier today the Mets increased their offer to the Brewers. Originally they wanted a straight up deal with Travis D’Arnaud coming back to Milwaukee. That’s laughable, of course. But now they’re reportedly willling to includ OF Brandon Nimmo and a third player. This is certainly a better offer, but personally I can’t help but find it underwhelming.
My biggest issue is with D’Arnaud. He’s an incredibly talented young catcher...when healthy. He’s missed a lot of playing time in recent seasons due to injury. But last year in 300 plate appearances he was a 2 win player. So given a full, healthy season he could become just as valuable as Jonathan Lucroy himself. Or close to it, anyway. The other problem is he comes with just 3 years of team control remaining after this year.
The optimist might look at it in one of two ways. It’s possible the Brewers could become competitive in 2018 and have TDA around for two meaningful seasons. Or TDA could increase his value by staying healthy and become a trade asset with value somewhat comparable to where’s Lucroy’s is right now. But I’m a bit skeptical about how competitive the Brewers can be as soon as 2018. And I think banking on TDA increasing his trade value is just too risky when we’re talking about the Brewers most valuable trade asset.
The secondary piece, Brandon Nimmo, feels a bit underwhelming as well. Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong about him. He gets good reports on his hit tool, speed, and fielding ability. There’s every chance he could be an average or above average corner outfielder. But trading Jonathan Lucroy might be the last time the Brewers have a chance to net a blue chip prospect and Nimmo just isn’t one.
Nimmo is very close to major league ready. And of course TDA is major league ready. So it’s possible the Brewers feel they’re in a place where major league readiness is of extra value. They do have a number of prospects ready to come up over the next couple of seasons.
It’s also important to realize that we have no idea what other offers might look like. It’s entirely possible this package is the best available. We also don’t know who the third player involved is. And of course this deal could transform in the next 48 hours. But the fact that Lucroy isn’t in tonight’s lineup is very interesting nonetheless. We might have already seen his last game as a Brewer.