Quoting various sources, Mets Blog reports Wednesday night that the Mets and Brewers have had preliminary talks about possible trades. Back in early May before anyone was talking about it, I suggested the Mets go after Ryan Braun. (I said the same thing in 2013 as well). It is a longshot, but here’s how it could work.
Money is the major issue, of course. Braun is due $95 million over the next five seasons (the extension he signed way back in 2011 actually does not begin until next year). The Brewers would love to get out from under the contract, but by all accounts will not pick up even a dime of the money to dump him.
Is Ryan Braun worth $19 million per year? Before the PED revelations, that was a bargain. Now, it’s arguable. Braun is having a nice season (13 homers, 40 RBIs thus far), but it is not known if he will ever regain his MVP form without chemical help. Even without it, he’s better than any hitter the Mets have.
So how can we make the money work? Well, the Brewers would have to take back some contracts to reduce Braun’s salary. There is no way they will take Curtis Granderson, so let’s not even consider that. But what if they took Michael Cuddyer and Jonathon Niese? That would remove $21.6 million off the Mets future books.
Now suddenly Braun’s bill is down to $73.4 million. So is Braun worth $14.68 million per season? That sounds about right.
Of course, it would take more than the Mets spare parts to land Ryan Braun. The Brewers would surely ask for one of the Mets young stud pitchers, but Sandy Alderson will not and should not give them up. Would Rafael Montero and Kevin Plawecki sweeten the deal?
It all depends on how much the Brewers want to get rid of Ryan Braun and how many teams are interested in acquiring him. Just like when the Mets got Johan Santana for a package of B-list players (it took years for Carlos Gomez to develop), maybe the Mets offer is the best of the few out there.
Even still, it would be a substantial investment for the Wilpons. And we all know how they feel about that. And we all know how Alderson feels about bold moves. So this likely will never happen. But it’s fun to think about it, even for just a moment.