Mets righty Zack Wheeler has won his arbitration case against the team, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Wheeler, a client of Jet Sports Management, will earn the $1.9MM he requested rather than the $1.5MM figure the team sought.
Obviously, the arbitration panel’s decision won’t have a drastic impact on the New York balance sheet for the coming season. And it won’t mean much for the future, either, as Wheeler only has one additional season of arbitration eligibility remaining.
Still, this is a relatively substantial victory — certainly, from Wheeler’s perspective but also for a union that’s currently engaged in a larger rhetorical battle as the free agent market limps along. As MLBTR’s 2018 MLB Arbitration Tracker shows, the players have thus far taken seven of ten arbitration cases, with thirteen still left to be decided.
Wheeler, 27, returned from a long Tommy John layoff to make 17 MLB starts last year. He still has a ways to go, though, to regain his former trajectory, as he ended the year with a 5.21 ERA and 8.4 K/9 against 4.2 BB/9 over 86 1/3 frames.