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The Sports Daily > The Brewers Bar
Mets Series Preview

To preview the Brewers’ trip to Citi Field this weekend, I chatted with Brian of fellow beer-loving baseball blog Brew and Orange. The Mets have recovered from a bumpy start to get back into the mix in the NL East. Currently they sit at 22-18 and in third place, 2.5 games behind the front-running Nationals. But they have yet to face the mighty weird and mysterious Milwaukee Brewers.

Give my take on the state of the Brewers and Miller Park’s beer offerings a read at Brew and Orange.

Without further ado:

Speaking of Ryan Braun as we have, what are your thoughts on him and do you think there’s any chance the Mets would deal for him? Unlikely, right?

Ryan Braun’s stats this year have been a welcome improvement for the Brewers, I’m sure. I’m just not sure who’s going to part with anything of value with a $76 million guarantee still on the books, covering what are likely to be his decline years. For a rebuilding team like the Brewers, I could see them trading him in what amounts to a salary dump like what the Red Sox did with Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford if they get any takers.

For the Mets, unlikely is right. I think (GM) Sandy Alderson even surprised himself getting Yoenis Cespedes to resign, and that created a bit more crowding in the outfield depth than anticipated. Juan Lagares was supposed to be the center fielder of the future, but has been relegated to platooning. Michael Conforto is an all-star in the making in left field, and Curtis Granderson is starting in right field pretty close to every day. Add to that Alejandro De Aza as a fifth outfielder, and there’s simply no room for Braun. Now if you want to talk about Lucroy (along with probably 25 other teams), that’s a different story. Travis d’Arnaud has been on the shelf with an ailing shoulder, but I’m not so sure the Mets will be willing to part with the package it’s going to take to dislodge Lucroy form his Brewers uniform.

Having not watched the Amazins this year much yet, are they hanging in there with the Nats and the surprising Phils? Who wins the NL East?

They’ve been hanging in for sure. After a bit of a rough start, the Mets rattled off 13 wins out of 15 at the end of April to vault back up toward the top of the standings. There’s some been some gnashing of teeth with unexplained diminished velocity for both Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, but the depth of the rotation is enough that it’s not become a full-fledged problem. It’s been a lot of living and dying by the home run this Spring, and mostly living thus far.

The Nationals have been good, but it feels unsustainable to me – Bryce Harper is Bryce Harper, and ex-Met Daniel Murphy has been hitting out of his mind, but beyond them, there’s a lot of struggling bats. The Phillies have been the real surprise, with their young, effective starting pitching. Hard to take off the blue and orange colored glasses, but I still think the Mets have enough to take the division by a game or two. It won’t be the runaway last year was.

What’s your hot take on the bizarre failed Carlos Gomez trade / Wilmer Flores crying on the field situation from last year?

Boy did the Mets dodge a bullet with the Gomez situation. Seems like the Brewers brass leaked a done deal before the Mets were done looking at Gomez’ medicals, and it looks like the Mets might have been right on the money by calling it off. Since the ’15 trade deadline, Gomez is slashing a dreadful .215/.266/.322 (when he’s not been injured). In turn, the Mets held on to Zack Wheeler, who’s poised to rejoin the rotation July 1, and got major production out of Wilmer Flores down the stretch run last year. Not to mention creating a folk hero and one of the most memorable plays in recent Mets history.

The thing about Wilmer Flores is that he’s been in the Mets system since the age of 16. It’s all he’s ever known. It must have been soul crushing at the time to learn of what sounded like a done deal from second-hand sources in the middle of a game. I’m really glad he got to prove himself (at a nice clip of .297/.329/.476!) when it counted in 2015. He’s been having more trouble sustaining that in 2016, but the season’s young.

How is Yoenis Cespedes working out this year? Will he remain a Met through 2018?

Cespedes has been no less impressive this year than he was last year. He’s earning every dollar of his contract this year, and it’s been an absolute pleasure to watch. As a byproduct though, there’s virtually no way he doesn’t opt out of his deal this off-season. The free agent market is extremely thin this upcoming Winter, and the way he’s hitting, the only hope the Mets have in retaining him is resigning him to a long term deal. I would say that the odds are not great of that happening, but his signing with the Mets this past Winter was a welcome surprise in itself, so who knows. With the window of 3-4 years of the young core of starting pitching guaranteed in the fold, and the fact that it’s not my money, I’d welcome Cespedes back on a long term deal with open arms.

How is the craft beer scene in your neck of the woods? I dug the Brooklyn drinking scene when I was in NYC last time. But overall we don’t see much around here from NYC other than Brooklyn, Ommegang and Southern Tier.

New York brewing is certainly an embarrassment of riches. It doesn’t always work out that the best distribution supports the best brewing, but Ommegang has among the best stable of beers, top to bottom. Other Half Brewing out of Brooklyn is quickly gaining the reputation of best beer in the state. We just did an interview with the extremely well regarded Newburgh Brewing, which has some really interesting takes on different styles and combinations. For an especially deep cut, Abandon Brewing, nestled in the Finger Lakes, makes some amazing brews. Their Reckless Abandon Belgian DIPA was one of the best beers I drank last year, but you’ll have to visit them, as all of their stuff is draught-only.

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As expected, I rate Ryan Braun as a more valuable commodity than Brian does. Brewers fans probably think he’s worth more in trade than fans of other teams, to put it mildly. And Mets fans understandably have a different view of how the failed Carlos Gomez trade transpired last year. I would agree, though, that the Mets probably dodged a bad trade with their “concerns” about Gomez. Looks like that worked out pretty well for everyone, except perhaps the Astros. Interesting.

Anyway, thanks again to Brian for his thoughts on the Metropolitans and hopefully we’ll see some decent starting pitching from Milwaukee this weekend. That would mean a much more enjoyable series overall, no doubt.