The Cleveland Indians have reportedly called the Brewers to inquire about the possibility of a trade for Milwaukee center fielder Carlos Gomez. The Brewers are far out of contention this season and are facing a rebuild, so moving a talented player who is only under contract through 2016 for prospects who might be ready help when the team is ready to compete again makes a lot of sense for the Brewers. For the Indians, a better center fielder makes sense.
Gomez, 29, was one of the best players in baseball in 2013 and 2014; he posted a .284/.347/.491 batting line over those two years, while averaging 23.5 home runs and 37 stolen bases. He won a Gold Glove in 2013 and the advanced metrics all agreed that he deserved it. He's also on a very team friendly contract, owed only ~$3 million for the remainder of this season and $9 million for next year.
That all makes Gomez look like a very appealing trade target, yet I'd prefer the Indians pass.
For one thing, the cost is likely to be high. There are more buyers than sellers right now, and I won't be the only one who notices how inexpensive Gomez's contract is. Baseball Prospectus has speculated that a package of Clint Frazier, Tyler Naquin, and Erik Gonzalez wouldn't be enough. BP speculating isn't the same as an actual trade proposal, but if they're right, the cost is too high, especially with Frazier playing the best he has in the two years since he was drafted.
Giving up something like your #2, #3, and #10 prospects for a year and a half of Gomez might make sense for some teams, but not for the Indians. They aren't contending this season, which means some of the value they'd be acquiring wouldn't do them any practical good.
For another thing, Gomez has not been nearly the same player this season as he was the last two years. His batting line right now is .266/.334/.431. The 131 wRC+ he had for 2013-14 is just 111 right now. He has only 8 home runs and 7 stolen bases. Some of that decline is due to a torn right hamstring slowing him down, but such an injury should not be viewed as a positive indicator for a player whose success was due in large part to speed, should it? (Does anyone remember Michael Bourn?)
We're all frustrated with how this season has been going, but there's no need for the Indians to sell the farm.