Brewers still fighting for postseason with trade for Neil Walker

Neil Walker is back in the playoff race after being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers. (AP)

The Milwaukee Brewers aren’t going down without a fight. Despite fading playoff hopes on the heels of a six-game losing streak, they completed a notable August trade on Saturday acquiring veteran second baseman Neil Walker from the New York Mets.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was the first to report a deal was close. The Brewers made it official after their 6-5 win against the Reds. The Mets will receive a player to be named later.

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The Brewers desire to add a bat, particularly at the second base position, has been well documented in recent weeks. Milwaukee was connected to Detroit’s Ian Kinsler right up until the non-waiver trade deadline, and was expected to make another push had Kinsler cleared waivers this month. We learned on Friday that Kinsler was claimed by another team, so Milwaukee quickly turned its attention to Walker.

It’s not a bad consolation. The 31-year-old veteran is having a typically consistent season, batting .264/.339/.442. He’s connected for 10 homers, which gives him eight straight seasons of double-digit blasts. The main concern might be health. After being limited to just 113 games last season, Walker missed another large chunk over the summer with a partial hamstring tear.

If Walker bounces back, he should be a worthwhile upgrade over the combination of Jonathan Villar and Eric Sogard. If he doesn’t, Milwaukee will be on the hook for the $3.25 million remaining on his contract and that’s about it. It’s a rental deal with the hope of finding the right combination to overcome the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, who are now tied atop the suddenly crowded NL Central division.

As for the Mets, they’re looking to the future after trading Lucas Duda and Addison Reed before the non-waiver and trading both Jay Bruce and Neil Walker in August. The trades allow them to save some money and open up playing time for future stars, particularly Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith. It won’t be a complete rebuild though because with a little luck in the health department next season the Mets could bounce back quickly.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!