KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - AUGUST 18: Starting pitcher Zack Wheeler #45 of the New York Mets pitches during the 1st inning of the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on August 18, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri.
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Former New York Mets and current Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Zack Wheeler is looking to improve his game in 2020.

This past offseason, the New York Mets looked to keep Zack Wheeler in Queens at least for the 2020 campaign. They extended him a one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer that he rejected. The right-hander had other plans and was ultimately wishing for a large and significant payday.

Unfortunately, the Mets didn’t end up being the ones to give him what he wanted.

Wheeler inked a five-year, $118 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, who will face the Mets 19 times in 2020. And despite the fact that he has a new coaching staff, new teammates, new uniform, and new ballpark, Wheeler possesses the same mindset: to improve each and every day.

“I just want to go out there and do the best I possibly can. I think I’ve done well over the past few years, but I think I could take that next step, and that’s the ultimate goal,” Wheeler said at spring training, per Alex Smith of SNY. “I want to go out there and win a Cy Young or two and make the All-Star team and carry us into the playoffs. That’s my goal now.

“What happened this offseason has sort of passed. I’ve reached that level of my career and now that’s past and I want bigger and better things. Like I said, Cy Youngs, going to the playoffs, winning the World Series and that type of stuff. It’s a good group here to do it with, and I think we have the opportunity.”

Last year, Wheeler posted an 11-8 record with a 3.96 ERA and 1.259 WHIP.

If a Cy Young is one of Zack’s future goals, he’ll have to compete with Mets ace Jacob deGrom (as long as the two are in the same league). deGrom posted a 2.43 ERA last year in what was his second consecutive Cy Young Award-winning season.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.