Eric Lauer landed on my radar this offseason as a potential arm for the New York Mets to add. There’s a lot to like about him. He’s young, left-handed, and coming off of a really good year with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Lauer well below the highest of standards of what we would like to see the Mets add this offseason. He’s not the number three guy they’re looking to add. Far more affordable, he’s a player they can possibly turn to if all other options are exhausted.
He’s not flashy. There’s no guarantee he’ll be anywhere near as good as he was in 2021. Expendable from a Brewers rotation with some deeper options than most clubs, he’s a guy to look at closely if the top candidates in the trade market end up costing a little too much.
Why Eric Lauer is a trade fit for the Mets
The Brewers are just about as natural of a trade partner for the Mets as anyone. They expect to compete next season but have a questionable offseason. They were carried in 2021 by their starting pitching and top-tier bullpen. Lauer was a part of it, going 7-5 with a 3.19 ERA in 20 starts and 4 relief appearances.
His track record hasn’t been the greatest. A lot of what he has done reminds me of Joey Lucchesi. The fact that he is also a former San Diego Padres pitcher adds the link between him and the depth piece the Mets added last offseason when they added Lucchesi to their roster.
The Mets would be buying high on Lauer. Fortunately, the Brewers may need to do the same thing with some bats.
Milwaukee managed to capture the National League Central in 2021. Unfortunately, making it beyond the first round proved challenging. The Atlanta Braves took care of them in four games. They were shut out twice after winning the opener of the series.
The Mets happen to have three bats they’re expected to shop around to any team with interest. Jeff McNeil is being dangled out there with the main purpose of adding a starting pitcher. Lauer is probably not quite what the Mets should look for in any deal for him. In McNeil’s case, you want to shoot a little higher.
The other two Mets trade candidates, J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith, might be a little more palatable to trade away in a deal involving Lauer. Their roles with the Mets feel like they’ve landed even further on the backburner than McNeil. At least he can play multiple positions and has sustained success in the past. Davis and Smith are coming off of questionable and/or down years. Neither really has a position no matter how hard the Mets have tried to use them at third base (Davis) or in left field (both of them).
Lauer for Davis or Smith with a few other moving parts isn’t such a bad start to a possible deal between these two clubs. The Brewers get their bat. The Mets get their arm.
But it would take a bit more. Prospects may need to get involved. Neither of these clubs is ready to start subtracting from the major league roster.
Lauer, like his teammate Adrian Houser, should remain a possible second-tier starter for the Mets to look at this offseason. Far less expensive than some other candidates out there, he’s a bit of a lottery ticket with a chance to become an important piece in Queens.