Former New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler is reportedly available via trade. As nice as a reunion would be, he’d likely cost the club too much young talent.
In case you missed it, Zack Wheeler is reportedly available according to some sources, refuted by others. The former New York Mets pitcher turned Philadelphia Phillies starter is now one of the most sought-after players on the trade block. The financial impact of the 2020 season has put the Phillies in a position to shed some salary, including one of last offseason’s biggest additions: Wheeler.
Upon hearing the news, Mets fans old, young, and somewhere in between eagerly pleaded wherever they could for a reunion. As nice as it would be, it’s going to cost the club more than it’s worth.
Wheeler is coming off of an excellent year with Philadelphia. In 11 starts, he was 4-2 with a 2.92 ERA. Everything they could have wanted, the team is experiencing plenty of buyer’s remorse.
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When it comes to trade rumors, we can always theorize the reasoning behind it. Was this the whole truth, nothing but the truth, so help us whatever it is we believe in?
Or, like in many cases, is this someone trying to stir up controversy or maybe get some other dominoes to fall?
It’s understandable why Philadelphia would be hurting. A lot of teams are right now. Trading a highly-paid starting pitcher would definitely help the pocketbook of the owner looking to have a few extra bucks left over to spend this holiday season. It’s not right and I feel for the fans in Philadelphia that are watching as their team gets dismantled.
Where the Mets come in is important. Although he pitched in Flushing for several seasons, Wheeler isn’t really a match for a potential trade. These two teams are division rivals. It’s already tough to make a blockbuster deal like this. Furthermore, the Mets can get a pitcher of his abilities or better just by buying him.
The free agent market is where the Mets look to be prioritizing their efforts. I can’t argue against this plan. With all of the money in the world sitting in Steve Cohen’s bank account, it makes zero sense to trade for a guy with nearly $100 million remaining on his deal. Signing him, sure. Trading some young players to get him, no thank you.
Fans from any city tend to fall in love with players. Even today, there are those in Mets Land hoping to see Wally Backman manage the team. There are other fish in the sea and other pitchers like Wheeler the Mets can and should land.
As it stands, we can expect the Mets to have a starting rotation of Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, David Peterson, and Noah Syndergaard in 2021. Syndergaard is a bit of a wild card given his Tommy John Surgery. Hypothetically, the Mets could trade for Wheeler and sign someone like Trevor Bauer. This puts Peterson as the sixth starter, likely either moved to the bullpen or the minor leagues.
I’m not sure I like this plan because of what any potential deal involving Wheeler would cost the club. The Phillies would be imbeciles to not put on a “Mets tax” with some high interest. Even if the purpose of the deal is to shed his salary, they’re not going to hand him over to a division-rival for the next four seasons.
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The only way this happens is if they hire Brodie Van Wagenen as their general manager. That might put a second crack in the Liberty Bell.