Over the past few weeks, separate rumors have linked the Brewers to both Mets infielder Asdrubal Cabrera and pitcher Zack Wheeler. Now it looks like they may be trying to include both players in the same trade package, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
#Mets discussing both Wheeler and Cabrera with #Brewers, sources tell The Athletic. No indication a deal is close. NYM also talking about players separately with other teams. #DBacks one of several on Cabrera, as first noted by @Buster_ESPN.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 27, 2018
Such a deal would allow the Brewers to address two needs at once, adding a solid pitcher to the rotation after the injury to Brent Suter and Zach Davies’ latest setback. Cabrera would bring some offense to the middle infield, although he likely would also be a defensive liability. At this point, though, that’s a risk the Brewers may be willing to take in order to score more runs.
Cabrera is hitting .277/.329/.488 with a .349 wOBA and 122 wRC+, but has long been brutal in the field. This year, he’s been “worth” -18 Defensive Runs Saved at second base after being worth -6 DRS there last year. For his career, he’s at -22 DRS at second base and -51 DRS at shortstop.
Wheeler famously was nearly a Brewer once before, as the headlining piece of the nixed Carlos Gomez trade to the Mets. Shortly after that deal fell through, Wheeler’s UCL tore and he needed Tommy John surgery, and battled other injury problems since. This year, though, he’s been largely solid, making 19 starts and putting up a 4.33 ERA/3.69 FIP and a 3.68 DRA (Deserved Run Average). That mark would be a large improvement for the Milwaukee rotation, which DRA largely sees as getting lucky, with Junior Guerra getting slapped with a 5.27 DRA, Chase Anderson at 5.05, Jhoulys Chacin at 4.64 and Wade Miley at 5.93. Only Freddy Peralta (3.36) has been better than Wheeler in terms of DRA this year.
In terms of what the Mets may be looking for in return, New York could be another potential landing spot for Brett Phillips. The Major League team has been tormented by injuries at that position, and the minor league system is so thin that Tim Tebow likely would have been a September call-up had he not suffered a season-ending injury.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus