We just knighted Mets righty Zack Wheeler the top trade deadline candidate in baseball. The results haven’t been there in 2019, but he’s got a power arsenal and is earning less than $6MM on the season. With deadline pressure reaching a breaking point, there ought to be a ton of chatter on him over the next day and a half.
We’ll keep tabs on all the latest right here:
- The Astros are “working hard” to land Wheeler, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports (subscription link). Despite the Houston organization’s stated intention to consider controllable starters, it seems the club has fixed its sights on Wheeler. Andy Martino of SNY.tv tweets that one rival exec “fully expect[s]” the ’Stros to come away with the righty.
- Other teams obviously will remain involved until a deal is struck. Last night, Martino cited the Braves, Brewers, Yankeees, Rays, and Athletics as teams with varying levels of ongoing involvement in the Wheeler market. (Twitter links.) That picture could certainly change rapidly, though it stands to reason that each of those clubs will at least want to have a good sense of the price tag as talks work towards a conclusion.
- As they continue to hold discussions on fellow righty Noah Syndergaard, the Mets “still seem much more likely” to ship out Wheeler, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine a reasonable scenario where Wheeler isn’t dealt unless the offers are so low that the Mets would rather hang onto him and make him a qualifying offer at season’s end. That’s not a terrible back-up plan, but it makes much more sense to take the bird in hand at the deadline given the evident levels of interest. (As for the concept of a Wheeler extension, that seems far too speculative to drive the team’s deadline strategy.)