The New York Mets have received significant interest in pitcher Zack Wheeler, who could be moved over Noah Syndergaard or Jacob deGrom.
With the New York Mets in a freefall, the team has been subjected to trade rumors that will not fade until after the July 31 non-waiver deadline. While pending free agents Asdrubal Cabrera, Jerry Blevins, and Jeurys Familia are almost certain to get moved, some others could be shipped off as well.
Starting pitcher Zack Wheeler is one of those other players. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the team is “drawing serious interest” on the former top prospect. The team is no doubt happy about that, as their focus has shifted to trading either him or Steven Matz in recent days.
Wheeler has a line that doesn’t nearly reflect how impressive he’s been. He’s 2-6 with a 4.42 ERA this season, but he’s been far better than those numbers show. His velocity is back up, he’s added a splitter that’s looked very good, and he had a very strong month of June.
It’s been a successful return for Wheeler, who missed all of 2015 and 2016 due to recovery from Tommy John surgery, and made only 17 starts in 2017 due to injuries. After three frustrating years, it’s great to see Wheeler returning to form.
Rosenthal notes that, while he doesn’t believe the team has ruled out trading Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, their asking price is too high for teams to stomach and they aren’t likely to take less than they top dollar. In today’s MLB, it’s rare that teams part with the type of prospects the Mets would need to move deGrom.
While deGrom and Syndergaard both have multiple years of team control, Wheeler can become a free agent after the 2019 season. That could motivate the team to move him over the other two, as they could lose him sooner should they prove unwilling to pay him as a free agent.