With Zack Wheeler being rumored as a trade possibility for the Yankees, we examine how the New York Mets pitcher wouldn’t fit in the Bronx.
As the New York Yankees continue their search to acquire another starting pitcher, another New York Mets pitcher has emerged in trade rumors besides Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. According to Marc Carig of The Athletic, the Yankees have checked in on the availability of Zack Wheeler:
A Yankees-Mets trade still seems quite unlikely. But the Yankees have recently inquired about Zack Wheeler, who has pitched better of late. Since June 1, he has a 3.44 ERA for the Mets. Perhaps, it’s just due diligence.
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) July 12, 2018
It is safe to say that the chance of this deal happening between these two teams is unlikely. With that being said, it is never a bad idea to examine how Wheeler would fit in if he were to put on the pinstriped uniform.
One of the things that would hurt Wheeler if he went to the Yankees is that he is known to give up the long ball. The 28-year-old right-hander has allowed ten home runs this season after giving up 15 a season ago. However, he has only given up three home runs since June 1 (eight starts).
When you pitch at Yankee Stadium, fly balls can always be a concern, especially when you play in a park that there is a short porch in right field. According to FanGraphs, opposing hitters hit a flyball against Wheeler 35.7 percent of the time. That is the highest of any pitcher on the Mets.
While Wheeler has pitched well as of late and is not a free agent until 2020, the Yankees would have to give up a decent haul for a pitcher that has not quite lived up to the hype that he had when he was traded to the Mets in 2011 for Carlos Beltran.
If the Yankees were going to give up a lot for Wheeler, then why not go the extra mile and try to acquire deGrom or Syndergaard? Despite Wheeler’s improvements this year, it would be another pitcher that doesn’t have postseason experience on a team where the expectations are World Series or bust.
For the Mets, it might be better to wait on the Machado sweepstakes and see if the Milwaukee Brewers end up being the losers. Milwaukee is in contention with the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central and they are under pressure to make a deal for a controllable starter after they watched Jose Quintana go to the Cubs last July.
The Brewers do not have as highly ranked a farm system as the Yankees. With that being said, the Brewers do have a strong top of their system even after trading for Christian Yelich in the offseason. It is up to the New York Mets front office to find the right prospects in that kind of deal to make it work.
So, while trading Wheeler or Steven Matz seems more likely at this point compared to deGrom or Syndergaard, don’t expect Wheeler to be going from the Queens to the Bronx anytime soon as Brian Cashman continues his search for a starting pitcher.