Call it the Cleveland Indians doing the due diligence, or call it genuinely wanting him on the team, but at one point or another the Tribe were likely in on the Carlos Gomez sweepstakes. However, the Indians are now out of their biggest rumored trade piece with the news today that the New York Mets acquired the 29-year-old outfielder from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for pitcher Zach Wheeler and shortstop Wilmer Flores.
Alderson just told #Mets’ writers "there is no trade" for Gomez and that a deal "will not transpire."— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 30, 2015
Even worse (better?), Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado tweeted a goodbye message to Gomez prior to news that the trade fell through. Best. Trade. Deadline. Ever.
Gomez has been on the radar of both competing and non-competing teams alike this season. His affordable contract has him under control through the 2016 season, which alone is worth more than most two-month rental players that deadline deals usually land a team. The Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles, Minnesota Twins and the Indians have all been linked to interest with Gomez during this past hectic week of trade rumors, with the Mets not popping up (from what I can tell) until just today when they swooped in traded for him.-
All these potential suitors – plus more that probably did not hear about – and his team-friendly contract led to a high price for Gomez. As Jason pointed out in a previous article via Baseball Prospectus, something along the lines of Clint Frazier, Tyler Naquin, and Erik Gonzalez likely would not have been good enough for Gomez. Considering the Brewers ended up with a top pitching prospect and an MLB level shortstop, I would say that’s a fair assessment.
I never quite understood the Tribe’s interest in Gomez to begin with. The only reason the Indians make the trade is if they believe the team can turn it around this year, or they are going for it all next year. Otherwise, they would have been throwing prospects down the drain to watch a (potentially) declining outfielder play for a year and a half on a losing team. Having good prospects at a position should never be enough to turn away from a trade, but the upper levels of the Indians farm system is so packed with outfielders that one or more of them could be coming as soon as next year, so the roster would become even more crowded.
Regardless, trade rumors are fun and it was fun having a big target for the Indians to be potentially in on – especially given their atrocious week of baseball. With Gomez off the market and the Indians falling fast, the Tribe getting anything big is probably not going to happen before the July 31 deadline. Instead, we will be watching for players being pulled early and hugged in case they are being traded.