NY Mets: Five fabulous Sandy Alderson moves as Mets GM
2011: Acquiring Zack Wheeler in exchange for Carlos Beltran
One of the first big moves Sandy Alderson made as Mets General Manager was trading cornerstone outfielder Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants for one of the Giants top prospects in right-handed pitcher Zack Wheeler back in July of 2011.
While at the time it was a tough pill to swallow losing Beltran who had established himself as one of the most complete outfielders in Mets history, Beltran was in his walk year, and we all knew a divorce was inevitable at the end of the season.
Beltran would waive his no-trade clause to play for the Giants who were in the hunt for a playoff spot at the time, and in exchange, the Mets would receive the first piece of their rebuilding plan in Zack Wheeler. This would eventually come out as a win for Sandy Alderson and company, as the Giants would ultimately miss the postseason and Beltran would solely be a rental player as he would walk in the offseason to play for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Wheeler would prove his worth over his six seasons with the Mets despite missing two seasons due to Tommy John surgery. Wheeler would end up as fourth all-time in Mets history in strikeouts-per-nine innings and is twelfth all-time in Mets history in strikeouts. We all also remember Wheeler’s second half of the 2018 season where over his final 11 starts he held a 1.68 ERA and was on a whole other level on the mound.
Zack Wheeler played an important role at the beginning of the Sandy Alderson era, and there was no doubt that Alderson had to find a way to get some sort of value for an impending free agent in Carlos Beltran. He ended up with a starting pitcher who provided value to the Mets for multiple seasons and played a large role in setting the foundation for the future pitching rotation at the Major League level.