The New York Mets are continuing their post-trade deadline wheeling and dealing.
On Saturday night, the Mets shipped infielder Neil Walker to the Milwaukee Brewers for a player to be named later. Walker is the fourth veteran the Mets have traded away in recent weeks, joining Lucas Duda, Addison Reed, and Jay Bruce. All four will become free agents after the season.
At this time of the season, the player to be named later likely falls into one of three categories. One, it's a 40-man roster player who has to go through trade waivers. Once the player go through trade waivers, he is named and sent to the Mets.
Two, it's a player who was selected in the 2017 First Year Player draft. Players can be not traded until six months after they sign their first pro contract. The draft signing deadline was July 14, which means teams can not officially trade 2017 draftees until January 14, 2018. So, in the meantime, they are included in trades as players to be named later.
Or three, it's one (or more) players from an agreed upon pool of prospects, and the Mets will make their pick in a few weeks, after they evaluate the available players further. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson seemed to acknowledge the player to be named will be a minor leaguer, not a 40-man roster player who could go through trade waivers within the next few days:
Alderson said it will be "awhile" before the player to be named later is resolved.— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) August 13, 2017
Walker, 31, is hitting .264/.339/.442 with 10 home runs in 73 games around a hamstring injury this season. He is primarily a second baseman, though lately the Mets have been using him at first and third bases as well. Walker figures to man second with the Brewers.
Milwaukee's second basemen are hitting .244/.312/.360 with 10 home runs this season, giving the team some of the worst production in the league at the position. Jonathan Villar in particular as been a huge disappointment:
- Villar in 2016: .285/.369/.457 with 19 HR and 62 SB
- Villar in 2017: .222/.281/.346 with 9 HR and 20 SB
The Brewers came into Saturday with a 59-59 record after losing six straight and seven of their past 10 games. They are three games behind the Cubs in the NL Central, so they are still within striking distance.