If the Mets want to go anywhere, they need to start thinking about trades. Zack Wheeler is one of the players they need to think about moving.
What would Wheeler offer the Astros?
He wouldn’t really offer a lot this season because of how stacked the Astros rotation is. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be a huge improvement for their future.
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For the remainder of this season, Wheeler would mainly serve as a backup. If they want to give one of their other starters some extra time between starts or someone goes on the DL, Wheeler would easily take their spot.
If his recent success can continue, the Astros might even consider starting him over Dallas Keuchel at times throughout the remainder of the season. Keuchel would be the key to Wheeler’s future with the Astros. For a pitcher who won the Cy Young award just three years ago, he’s having a terrible season.
He has an ERA that sits above 4 and a WHIP that’s his highest since 2013. Normally you expect a player to play outstanding baseball during their final year before free agency.
He will be a free agent at the end of this season. He’s making $13 million this year and he is one of the Astros worst starters this year. The odds that the Astros bring him back are really low. He’ll either ask for much more than he’s worth or his talent will be well below what the Astros can replace him with.
That’s where Wheeler fits in. He has the rest of this season and all of next season left. If the Astros don’t bring back Keuchel or one of their other pending free agents, Wheeler would serve as a good replacement pitcher this year and then a solid full time starter in 2019.
If he pitches the way he had this past month, next season he’d easily be their number three starter behind only Verlander and Cole.
What could the Mets get in return for Wheeler? Since he has more than a year left and has been solid this year, the return should be decent. The team should be able to get two or three prospects. Knowing how good the Astros are at the major league level, the Astros may be more willing to move players of certain positions because of depth.
It’s possible that the Mets might also be able to trade Jeurys Familia along with Wheeler. The Astros are in need of a better closer and moving both pitchers might be enough to bring the Mets a sick package.
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