In return for Francisco Rodriguez and a few million bucks, the Mets will receive two players to be named later (PTBNL) from the Brewers organization within the next six months. Eric provided a primer on PTBNL rules and a link to John Sickels' pre-season rankings of the Brewers' farm system yesterday.
I asked Kyle Lobner from Brew Crew Ball to answer a couple of questions about the Brewers to help us figure out who might eventually be coming back to the Mets, and he obliged. Thanks, Kyle!
Also, note that Kyle's last answer speaks to Eric's point about Sandy Alderson's interview on WFAN yesterday: One PTBNL has probably been in the big leagues but is in the minors now.
Chris McShane: Very few Mets fans are familiar with the Brewers' minor league system, but yesterday, Eric pointed out John Sickels' list of the organization's top prospects from January. Which, if any, of those players do you think are off limits in the Francisco Rodriguez trade?
Kyle Lobner: I'll be very surprised if the Brewers are willing to trade Tyler Thornburg at this point. He's one of very few top Brewer prospects who's having an excellent season, and he's almost certainly the consensus #1 player in the organization at this point. He's the only player I'd say is absolutely off limits, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that pitchers Cody Scarpetta, Kyle Heckathorn and Wily Peralta aren't options either.
Chris: Are there a few players who you think would make sense in this deal, given that the Mets are sending a few million dollars along with Rodriguez? Anything exciting about them?
Kyle: The Brewers have a handful of outfield prospects that probably project to be major leaguers within the next couple of years but don't really have a position to play with both Ryan Braun and Corey Hart on the roster. Caleb Gindl doesn't really have the body of a major leaguer and for that reason scouts don't always like him, but he's done nothing but hit in the minors. AA outfielder Erik Komatsu probably profiles as a solid #4 - he's got solid plate discipline to go with somewhat light power. Khris Davis has also been an excellent minor league hitter, but has been somewhat old for his level each of the last two seasons.
The Brewers also have an interesting second base prospect in AAA in Eric Farris, but he's blocked at the position by Rickie Weeks. Farris is working on becoming a utility player but I'm hearing he doesn't have the arm strength to consistently play shortstop. If that's the case, he probably doesn't have a place to play with this team.
Chris: The Brewers depleted their minor league system with the trades the team made for Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum. How concerned are you about giving up even a pair of decent prospects in this trade?
Kyle: To be honest, I'm not deeply concerned. As I mentioned above, several of the Brewers' top position prospects are blocked within the organization. Losing one of them and a guy like Mike McClendon (who would fit the criteria of a guy who's been in the majors but isn't now) won't help the organization, but it's not exactly a crippling blow either.