On January 5, 2019, New York Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen opened up the year with a trade that looked bad from the start. He called up David Stearns of the Milwaukee Brewers—hey, we know that guy!—and asked for Keon Broxton.
Broxton was a lifetime .222/.314/.422 hitter at the time and coming off a season where he hit only .179. Players like this should come for practically free. But the 20 home runs Broxton hit in 2017 combined with 21 stolen bases and the reputation as a good defensive player was enough for BVW to offer up three minor leaguers.
Adam Hill, Felix Valerio, and Bobby Wahl were all sent to the Brewers for Broxton. He’d end up DFA’d by the Mets in mid-May and eventually sent to the Baltimore Orioles for international bonus slot money. Broxton batted just .143/.208/.162 in his 53 plate appearances for the Mets. What about the guys they gave up?
5 years later, the Mets actually didn’t give up much at all in this trade
Hill last pitched in 2022 and logged only 4.1 innings of work. He did make it to Double-A in 2021 where a 6.34 ERA as a member of the Seattle Mariners organization gave Mets fans who remembered him some relief. He wouldn’t be the “one who got away” in this deal.
Valerio hasn’t made it to the majors either. An infielder still with the Brewers organization, he managed to hit .300+ a couple of times in the lower minor leagues. However, his last two seasons have been spent in Double-A. Each time he batted in the .220s. Somehow still only a freshly turned 23 on December 26, concerns of the 5’5 former Mets minor leaguer turning into the next Jose Altuve just aren’t there.
Finally, there’s Wahl. He’s one of the two players the Mets received from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Jeurys Familia in mid-2018. Shellacked in his 5.1 innings for the big league club that same year, he hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2020. Health issues and a whole lot of struggling have gotten in the way of him ever coming back. In limited action, he had an 11.09 ERA in 2021 and a 15.43 performance in 2022. That was the last anyone saw him.
So, as poor of a trade as this was for the Mets, the Brewers didn’t get a whole lot out of it either. Well, sort of. David Stearns got involved in this once again. Hill ended up traded to the Mariners in exchange for Omar Narvaez, another familiar name for Mets fans. Narvaez ended up giving the club an All-Star performance in 2021.
Got rid of Broxton and turned one of the prospects they got back for him into an All-Star catcher; the only winner in this deal looks like it was Stearns.