Mets add power, defence and speed in low-risk, high-upside Broxton deal

Keon Broxton
"Keon Broxton" by DandreaPhotography is licensed under CC BY-SA

Keon Broxton was traded from the Milwaukee Brewers to the New York Mets in exchange for Bobby Wahl, Adam Hill and Felix Valeiro on Saturday.

Broxton is out of options and had just 78 Major League at bats last season. He is a glove-first centre fielder, though he has speed and plenty of pop in his bat.

Hill was selected in the fourth round by the Mets last year. He was a strikeout machine in his pro debut but is a long way from the bigs.

Valeiro is an 18-year-old who played in the Dominican Summer League last season. While hitting for average and showing speed, he is yet to demonstrate notable power. Of course, that could come later.

Wahl arrived in New York in the Jeurys Familia trade during the 2018 campaign. The 26-year-old right handed reliever has struck out a tonne of batters in AAA and pitched 5.1 Major League innings last season with a monster fastball. There’s upside there, for sure, but he was down at 28th on MLB Pipeline’s Mets prospect list.

This is another win-now move from Brodie van Wagenen. Wahl is the only player of the three the Mets sent to Milwaukee that had any chance of contributing in 2019. Broxton is out of options and barely played in the Majors last year, but this is a good buy-low opportunity. He had a 20-20 season in 2017 – the trade package last winter would have been far steeper than this.

Juan Lagares, who is also a superb defender, will likely share centre field duties with Broxton. Lagares does not pose the same power threat as Broxton, and he has not played over 100 games in a season since 2015. His $9 million salary will make him a tough player to trade away, though van Wagenen has already shown inventiveness to get deals done. It is possible, albeit remote, that Lagares is moved to free up salary for next season.

Michael Conforto and Brandom Nimmo will fill the two corner outfield spots alongside Broxton. New York had a clear need in centre field and have addressed it shrewdly. They crucially have four years of control, and they did not have to tear apart their farm or commit precious dollars to get it. The non-roster invites to Rajai Davis and Gregor Blanco give van Wagenen options and potential depth.

At worst, Broxton is a defensive specialist who can pinch run and hit the odd homer. He has high upside, though, as we saw in 2017. He’s never going to walk much, but there’s power potential there. The former Brewer is a Carlos Gomez-type – if he can reach anything like the levels of peak-Gomez, he will be a very helpful piece for the Mets in 2019 and beyond.

About Sam Cox 267 Articles
Sam is a widely published freelance writer, covering basketball, baseball and a range of other sports. He's still trying to decide if he prefers a rundown shot block or a smooth double play.

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