Brewers: Anatomy of a failed trade


It was a done deal. Then it wasn’t.

Wednesday night, news broke from credible sources—the New York Post chief among them—that the Milwaukee Brewers had traded two-time All-Star center fielder Carlos Gomez to the New York Mets for right-hander Zack Wheeler and infielder Wilmer Flores.

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When other sources—’s Jon Heyman—also confirmed the deal was done, folks like me ran with it.

Then, after poor Flores got humiliated in front of a national audience because of his emotional reaction to being traded away from the only organization he has known since signing on his 16th birthday in 2007, the bombshell exploded.

In the trade-deadline’s high-stakes game of Deal Or No Deal, it was no deal.

Medicals were exchanged and the early reports of the deal blowing up centered on the elbow of Wheeler, who had Tommy John surgery in March and isn’t expected back on a big-league mound until around the All-Star break next season.

But it wasn’t the Brewers who blinked because of Wheeler.

No, instead it was the Mets because of Gomez.

That sent Gomez’s agent, Scott Boras, into a dither.

Boras later went on another rant, via FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

Rosenthal later wrote a column chastising those of us who ran with the initial reports without including the words “pending medical clearance.”

Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the initial source. I’ll repeat the tweet, just so you all can see the words “pending medical clearance” clearly written within it.

Oh, wait …

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  • It’s the trade deadline. Things are very fluid. Fans crave information and when it’s out there, analysts and fan sites are going to jump on it.

    It’s our job—we don’t break news here. Two words you will never see on a headline here are “Breaking News.”

    That’s not what I do. That’s up to the Shermans, Heymans and Rosenthals of the world.

    We react to that news—which is what I did Wednesday night.

    Did I feel foolish having to update the story less than 10 minutes after initially posting it? Sure.

    But I wasn’t alone. I took a report from a credible source and evaluated it.

    Mets manager Terry Collins went off on the press for creating a situation he had to deal with on the field.

    Mets general manager Sandy Alderson went off on the press for creating a situation on social media.

    It’s worth pointing out that during the time that Doug Melvin and Alderson have been general managers in the big leagues (they overlapped from 1994-97 when Melvin was the general manager for the Texas Rangers and Alderson was with the Oakland Athletics and since 2011 when Alderson went to the Mets), they have been trading partners just once.

    In July 2011, the Brewers acquired reliever Francisco Rodriguez from the Mets for two players to be named later (left-hander Danny Herrera and right-hander Adrian Rosario).

    So in the end, Carlos Gomez is still a Brewer. Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flores are still Mets.

    As part of the drama of a deadline deal that wasn’t.

    Next: Brewers Trade Gomez To Mets ... Then Don't

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