The New York Mets and Zack Wheeler agree to a one-year, $800K deal to avoid salary arbitration.
Right-hander Zack Wheeler and the New York Mets avoided arbitration on Wednesday by agreeing to a deal.
According to the Associated Press, the deal is for one year and $800,000. Wheeler was eligible for arbitration for the first time this year after making $546,250 last year. Eight Mets players, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia, Addison Reed, Josh Edgin, Lucas Duda, Travis d’Arnaud, and Wilmer Flores are still eligible for arbitration.
Wheeler has missed the last two seasons due to a torn elbow ligament. He had Tommy John surgery last year. In 2013 he was 7-5 with a 3.42 ERA and in 2014 he was 11-11 with a 3.54 ERA and187 strikeouts. The right-hander has an 18-16 career record with a 3.50 ERA.
The Mets expect that Wheeler will be healthy when spring training starts next month. They could start the pitcher out of the bullpen to start the season, as many have recently speculated. Wheeler isn’t a rotation lock for the Mets and the move makes sense.
The right-hander had been recovering from Tommy John surgery. Last summer he was only able to pitch one inning during his rehab assignment before he had to be shut down. It is unknown how he’ll pitch at the start of the season due to the surgery, so having him pitch out of the bullpen to start the season is a good idea.
It will be interesting to see if Wheeler can become one of the Mets top pitchers again.