The New York Mets are prepared to offer Zack Wheeler a one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer ahead of the hot stove season.
Nov. 4 is the final day for teams to offer potential free agents a qualifying offer. The player can either accept or decline the offer.
If the player declines the offer and signs elsewhere, the team that extended the offer will get a compensatory draft pick in return. That draft pick would take place between Rounds 1 and 2.
Also, based on how large the contract is, the team that signs a player who received a QO would also have to forfeit draft picks.
The New York Mets are taking advantage of this system by offering pending free agent Zack Wheeler a QO, according to Anthony DiComo.
The Mets will extend Zack Wheeler a qualifying offer before today's deadline.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) November 4, 2019
The media has been mostly split on whether or not Wheeler would accept such an offer from the Mets. Fangraphs polled media members about what Wheeler could expect to get on the open market. The average answer was a four-year, $77.2 million contract.
That would put Wheeler third among pitchers in the 2020 class, behind only Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg. That contract would be worth $18.3 million per year, which is larger than the QO.
As such, Wheeler is not likely to accept the QO from the Mets. However, some in the media believe Wheeler could accept the offer in an effort to boost his value for 2021, when he would arguably be the best pitcher on the market.
This is a complex decision for Wheeler. Does he take the offer and bet on himself for 2021 and a potentially massive payday, or does he take an already sizeable contract and long term security now?
Fans won’t have to wait long as Wheeler has exactly 10 days to make a decision. The Mets will know whether or not Wheeler is going to be a part of their plan for the 2020 season by Nov. 14.