Mets Rumors: Shopping the aces to trade Zack Wheeler?
By Tim Boyle
Are the New York Mets shopping Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard with the hopes that they can get a Zack Wheeler deal done?
The surprising story of the New York Mets season has been their alleged willingness to listen to teams interested in trading for Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard. While many will agree trading either would be foolish, this may have some strategy.
According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets could dangle their two best starters in order to start a conversation about Zack Wheeler. Wheeler is a free agent after next season and a guy who has pitched well of late. Could he become the starting pitcher they move this season?
It’s an interesting idea by Puma. To me, it makes a lot of sense.
Who hasn’t purposefully cleared their throat to get someone’s attention? You’d be lying if you claimed to have never asked a question you already knew the answer to in order to start a conversation with a person you had a crush on.
In this case, the Mets are leaking rumors about deGrom and Syndergaard’s availability to get the phone lines jammed. When teams find out the asking price is out of reach, the conversation could go toward other players available. Namely, talks of trading Wheeler could arise.
Through 13 starts this season, Wheeler has gone 2-5 with a 4.82 ERA. These statistics aren’t much to make a general manager’s mouth drool. Combined with the 3-7 record and 5.21 ERA in 17 starts last year, Wheeler looks like a fifth starter at best.
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However, there are some positive numbers of Wheeler’s to consider. He has a 3.80 FIP this season, suggesting he has suffered from a little bad luck. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s earning just $1.9 million this season. Teams looking for cheaper options could take a chance on him.
Premium pitchers will not be available this summer ahead of the trade deadline. It appears that Cole Hamels and J.A. Happ may headline any deals. Many of baseball’s best pitchers are on winning ball clubs. As such, the Mets may luck out and find someone to take Wheeler.
The question is, should the Mets trade him?
Looking ahead to 2019, the Mets may need to open up room for a starter. deGrom and Syndergaard will take the number one and two spots. Steven Matz and Jason Vargas should have two others.
As for the other starter, they could use Seth Lugo in the role or possibly even hand it over to a free agent signing or rookie.
It’s clear Wheeler will never live up to the hype. Since debuting in 2013, he has only 23 wins and a 4.05 ERA. Limited due to injuries, the story of Zack Wheeler in New York could end with plenty of wasted potential.
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Perhaps the best way to fix this is to find a trade partner this summer and let him start fresh elsewhere. In return, maybe the Mets can get something better for their future.