Former New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler responded to comments made by Brodie Van Wagenen in regards to the $118 million deal he got from the Philadelphia Phillies.
The New York Mets rivalry with the Philadelphia Phillies is back on!
Brodie Van Wagenen’s comments on Wheeler’s deal didn’t speak too highly of the former Mets pitcher:
"“The projections we had for Zack — both short-term and long-term — didn’t quite match up to the market he was able to enjoy.”"
While not scathing and more diplomatic than anything else, Van Wagenen made his thoughts on Wheeler quite clear. He wasn’t the type of pitcher the organization was willing to overpay for. Understandably so. I think most Mets fans will agree Wheeler earned more than many expected.
Among other things in response to BVW’s comments, Wheeler had this to say:
"“He wasn’t there the whole time. He only knows me from last year. He watched me I guess when he was watching his other players on the team.’’"
This one cuts a little deeper and shows a little more insight into how Wheeler feels post-Mets. Considering Van Wagenen has regularly added former clients of his to the franchise and has continued to do so into the 2019-2020 offseason, it’s not an outrageous statement for Wheeler to make.
Reading into Wheeler’s comments, it sounds like he would have preferred to stay in New York. After all, it’s where he grew as a major league pitcher. He made friends there and seemed to enjoy the last two seasons.
Wheeler’s time with the Mets was certainly an interesting yet unfortunate stint. Just as he was revving up his engine, Tommy John Surgery knocked him out for the entire 2015 and 2016 run. By the time he came back in 2017, the team was in a much different position.
One of the longest-tenured Mets on the 2019 roster missed out on all of the fun of their two playoff runs in the decade. Perhaps feeling slighted by Van Wagenen’s comments in regards to his perceived value, Wheeler felt the need to sound off on the state of his former team and the general manager he worked under for a year. It’s difficult to not understand where he’s coming from.
Now “one of the bad guys” in Philadelphia, Wheeler does have a little something more to prove even if he says otherwise. Against the Mets, there will surely be some additional motivation. We’ve seen it before. Daniel Murphy’s punishment against his former team in New York comes to mind as a recent example.
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Wheeler will have plenty of chances to show the Mets and Van Wagenen what they’re missing out on. In fact, by the time his tenure in Philly is through, I wouldn’t be shocked to see a new GM in Flushing. We’ll worry about that in the future.