Minnesota’s among the teams chasing free agent Zack Wheeler, but the Twins haven’t made the right-hander an offer yet, Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News reports. However, Wolfson suggests it’s only a matter of time before that will change. The club reportedly met with Wheeler’s representatives earlier this month.
Whether it’s Minnesota or another team that winds up signing Wheeler, it may have to fork over a nine-figure contract for the former Met. An executive told Dan Hayes of The Athletic that Wheeler should be able to land a five-year deal worth between $100MM and $110MM. A contract worth $100MM or more for Wheeler wouldn’t be particularly surprising, as MLBTR predicted he’d land exactly that much when the offseason got underway three weeks ago.
It obviously remains to be seen whether the Twins will be the team that emerges on top in the bidding for Wheeler, but the reigning AL Central champions’ need for starting pitching is obvious. Righty Jake Odorizzi made the somewhat surprising decision to accept the Twins’ $17.8MM qualifying offer earlier this month, thus patching a hole for the team, but he and Jose Berrios are the only proven rotation options penciled in for next year. The Twins lost free agent Kyle Gibson to the Rangers on Wednesday, while both Michael Pineda and Martin Perez are currently on the open market.
Odorizzi’s decision represents an instance in which the Twins have benefited from the qualifying offer system, though it’ll hurt them a bit if they sign Wheeler (or fellow standout free-agent pitchers Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg or Madison Bumgarner). Adding a single free agent who rejected a QO, as Wheeler, Cole, Strasburg and Bumgarner did, would cost Minnesota its third-highest draft pick in 2020. Of course, that shouldn’t be a prohibitive price for a club that likely expects to reign over its division again next year and compete for a World Series.
Too much turkey ahead of Thanksgiving?
Down with OBP
No…he’s paying good money to be on this website and click stories and then read those stories.
dynamite drop in monty
He demands satisfaction!!
Wheeler to the White Sox is my guess. 5 years $105mm
$23 million AAV seems a bit steep, no? I was thinking something in the realm of $18-$20 million a year.
I’m no math genius as well as a “moron” per Saint Chris but I do believe that $105MM / 5 yrs. = $21MM AAV, no?
He had a higher war than strasburg the last 2 years combined. I seriously don’t see the white sox letting him go to the twins..Hahn put way too much into this rebuild to let it happen. The offensive prospect pool and young talent like Robert, Madrigal, Moncada, Anderson, Jimenez, to go along with Abreu and Grandal.. who knows what dh and rf will be.. that lineup is going to be insanely dangerous. Coupled with Giolito and a good pen.. sox need starting pitching. Cease looked great towards the end. Kopech needs time and Lopez needs to wake up and learn how to focus. Can’t count on Rodon… Spend on 2 guys up top in the rotation and look out for White Sox. The AL central will be theirs for the taking for years to come.
Spare Tire Dixon
Maybe a trade for Joc Pederson for that DH/RF role?
Asking price for Joc probably too high. Castellanos could be a relatively inexpensive RF/DH option. Or they could accept a pleasantly predictable slightly below average RF and sign Adam Jones. Then ear mark the savings for a real stud like Cole.
Joc would be much cheaper than Castellanos.
That prediction is in the ballpark for Zack Wheeler’s eventual FA contract, including the projection by this site. If it comes down to a bidding war between Minnesota and the ChiSox my bet is on Chicago, especially so because I picked Wheeler to be a White Sox in the MLBTR prediction contest.
Why would you say the Sox? Twins have way more money to spend than the Sox do.
Sox have lots of money available.
Cause he is a Sox fan duh
The White Sox had about $15MM in guaranteed 2020 contracts before they signed C Yasmani Grandal and re-signed 1B Jose Abreu. They will also have about $25MM in expected 2020 arbitration salaries to 5 veterans after the release of Yolmer Sanchez. The rest of their salary commitments will go to pre-arb players who will be at or near the MLB minimum. (https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/11/offseason-outlook-chicago-white-sox-10.html)
To summarize the White Sox 2020 budget I will simply copy the final paragraph of the above MLBTR link:
Even after signing Grandal and Abreu, their projected commitments sit around $80MM. With so many big-market teams crying poor this winter, the White Sox are in excellent position to add several more impact free agents and make a major push into contention for 2020 and beyond.
I mean I’m not saying they don’t have money to spend but if it’s a bidding war the Twins have just as much or more to spend. The Sox have also never given out a $100 million dollar contract.
Interesting. How do you figure the Twins have more money than the Sox?
Because they do. Minnesota is expected to come in at ~130M payroll. With arb salaries and minimum salaries, they could hypothetically land 3 more major free agents (although obviously it would not be wise for their future). Twins have the most payroll flexibility in all of baseball this offseason.
The Sox currently have less money committed to payroll than the Twins, so I don’t understand why you think Minnesota has more money to spend. I guess we’ll all see how this goes soon enough. The Sox are rumored to have the highest bid (currently) for Wheeler. My guess is the Sox sign him for around $125MM/5. I think they’ll also take a stab on MadBum as well. They could presumably add both free agents and still have less money committed for 2020 than the Twin do today.
Jim Pohlad has significantly more personal wealth than Jerry Reinsdorf, not that either or any MLB owner would peal out dollars from their own wallet in order to secure a FA in a bidding war.
Thats straight up not true, Twins have around 95M commited, Sox payroll would definitely be higher that that if they were to sign Wheeler and Madbum
Yeah no, White Sox probably have the most flexibility in baseball. Sox have historically had much higher payrolls than the Twins. Sox could probably sign Cole, Stras and Rendon while adding a couple other $10M a yr solid pieces as well, if they really wanted too.
The 2020 payroll commitment for the White Sox is currently $71.7MM.
That’s 100% incorrect. People always think oh Chicago they most spend like the Cubs, they don’t. The Twins have a higher payroll than the Sox, and by quite a bit, just about every single year since Target Field opened. Which is why they have more money to spend. The twins are projected by most to get to or surpass their highest payroll ever, which is around $130 mil. That would be more than the white Sox have ever spent. The Twins have just under 90 million on the books right now and that’s if they keep Cron, if they dont it will be like $83 million. The white Sox are at like $72 million right now (these #’s are before adding in non arb players too) so at best they have the same amount to spend to hit their projected payrolls. Bow add to the fact that the white sox have almost $60 million in just guarantee money on the books for next season before any arbitration salaries and the Twins have $10 million on the books. If the sox sign a guy for $20 mil AAV that put them at like $80 million in guaranteed money for the next two seasons before arbitration. They can certainly sign a guy like that but it pretty much stops them from signing anyone meaningful for the next two years. In short the Twins not only have just as much or more to spend this year, they have WAY more available payroll for future seasons.
Look for Rick Hahn to punch holes in your argument this offseason. The Twins screwed themselves with mediocre starting pitching, shoddy defense, and got pummeled by the evil Empire. The White Sox won’t make that mistake.
Actually sports contracts require payments from liquid assets, so the owner’s access to his personal cash is important.
No chance Jerry forks over 100 mil for a #3 starter. Have at him Twinkies. Twins ” Reigning over the division” with 1 good SP Berrios ? Unrealistic to expect Twins to repeat that level of offensive production. Kepler had his coming out party. Cruz was typical Nelson Cruz. Rosario is a great hitter. Can Garver repeat those stats ? Polanco will be recovering from surgery. Twins will not run away with Central in 2020
Clearly Zack Wheeler would not be a #3 starter on the White Sox, at least to open the 2020 season with their current depth chart. At worst Wheeler would be a #2 behind Lucas Giolito with a big drop off after that to Reynaldo Lopez and Dylan Cease.
Certainly, Cease and returning SP Michael Kopech have ace potential down the road. Carlos Rodon would as well if he can ever stay healthy. Imo, Wheeler also has ace potential which is why most pundits have him rated the #3 free agent starting pitcher this offseason after Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg. I can more readily envision Jerry Reinsdorf “fork over” $100MM for Wheeler on the recommendation of Rick Hahn than $200MM+ for Cole or $150MM+ for Strasburg.
Reign over their division? Really? The Twins have a good offense, sure, but they have yet to replace the 3/5ths of the rotation they lost, and, as they’re currently constructed, the Indians are the better team by a long shot.
Definitely not a long shot. You’re counting on Kluber coming back at 100% and the offense playing significantly better if you think the Indians are that much better. I think they’re about even, not like any of those SPs lost were world beaters.
It’s not just Kluber, who may or may not come back in Cy Young-caliber form. Clevinger, Bieber, and Civale are all, in my eyes, better than any Twins starter currently on the roster. Carrasco has the ability to bounce back. Plesac isn’t terrible. That’s six viable starters, four of which have the ability to be truly elite.
The Twinkies have two decent starters.
Seems like a longshot to me.
You should be arrested for saying Civale is better than Berrios.
Sorry but saying Civale is better than Berrios is almost a non starter in this conversation. And to say a team that just lost the division by 8 game is better by a “long shot” is just ridiculous. the Indians had an average to below average offense while the Twins had one of the best offenses statistically in MLB history and by just about any metric you pick they were about the same as far as pitching goes so again your comment is not ground in facts.
A non-starter? Civale produced more WAR per start than Berrios did in 2019.
Also: The Twins have yet to replace 3 starting pitchers, and, again, I wrote the Indians are better than the Twins by a longshot “as currently constructed.”
Using WAR as a stat for a pitcher is the most pointless thing ever, by any advance metric you look at Civale was incredibly lucky last year. Also as currently constructed the Indians might have one of the worst offenses in baseball so even if the twins dont have their rotation filled out whoever they do throw out there wouldn’t need to be that great. Also, you based you opinion on “6 starters with 4 possibly being elite” that’s an assumption that A. Isn’t even the most likely case and B. Still doesn’t make them better by a “long shot”.
Lucky? Maybe. WAR is useless for determining a pitcher’s value? Wrong.
The Indians were 16th in runs scored last year, and have no major free agent losses to account for, so why you’d think they would have the worst offense in baseball is beyond me.
I mean, it’s not like their best hitter is entering his age 39 season or something like Nelson Cruz is.
Indians are a team on the decline, struggling to stay afloat in a weak division full of rebuilding teams. Twins are at the end of the rebuild, have an incredible young offense who has nowhere to go but up, and has a few rotation arms to fill. With the offense the twins have, the pitching is less relevant. The twins have always punted on pitching. If they can get even average arms, they beat the Indians in a landslide. I’m sure they have some guys who can eat enough innings to easily beat the Indians in a 7 game series this weekend. Characterizing Cruz as their best hitter is absurd. He was acquired to provide some experience and veteran leadership. He plays DH. Your entire argument isn’t based in reality. Saying “wrong” doesn’t actually make it so.
The central is very weak. I think it’s open to any team to win it. Sore, twins and indians are the favorites. But we’ve seen teams come out of no where and players have career years and get hot and before you know it, they win the division. Mets when they went to the world series, twins last year… it happens.
The AL Central is a two team race between the Twins and White Sox. The Indians are about to blow their roster up, while Detroit and KC are still tanking
Indians were the better team, head to head, against the Twins last year.
Who won the division? Who’s selling off star players? Who’s adding top free agents to a talented and balanced roster? These are questions to ask yourself when evaluating the division.
Cruz isn’t their best hitter? Seriously? Dude led the Twinkies in home runs, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS in 2019.
Is there some other stat that I’m missing?
Polanco had a higher WAR. War means everything. LOL
Saint Chris will change his tune when Cory Kluber and Francisco Lindor are dealt this offseason or just ahead of the summer trade deadline. I believe that the Twins will be favored to win the AL Central after they finish addressing their rotation this offseason. I also believe the White Sox will be breathing down their neck with a few more significant additions this winter including the acquisition of two veteran SP’s, a set-up RP and a RF. I suspect most will be free agent acquisitions but also expect a significant trade from Rick Hahn this offseason, perhaps at the winter meetings which commence in 10 days.
Change my tune? I guess you didn’t read what I wrote, Moron. I said “as currently constructed.”
I “guess” you neglected to comprehend my reply with the use of the words “will” and “when” in the very first sentence of my response.
Tigers are better than Indians. Just saying.
dynamite drop in monty
Conditioner is better! I make the hair silky and smooth!
I hope the qualifying offer is re-worked in the next cba; teams signing QO FAs shouldn’t be penalized greatly. I can understand a recoup/draft pick compensation from the losing teams point of view but, signing teams are too harshly penalized
I hate how slow free agency is in baseball, seems like it has gotten worse and worse each year. I know, I’ll get people telling me to chill out and whatever else but it is true. Free agency for baseball has become very boring. I guess I’m use to basketball and football where big names fly off the board anywhere from the minute free agency starts to a week after but in baseball we have big names signing in January. Or even football, their free agency moves faster than this. Hopefully something happens soon, if not, at least we got some great games this weekend in college and pro football
The last two off seasons have been slow but this one hasn’t been. The best catcher and best reliever on the market have both already signed.
Also, boring? Football is boring. 3 hour games with only 15 minutes of actual play. Yawn.
You must have not paid attention to the Braves offseason. 6 major league multi million dollar signing already. The top stars don’t come off the board as quick as free agents do in the NFL or NBA but you have Scott Boras to blame for that. He is very open about the fact that he keeps his clients on the market as long as possible. Not to mention there is a trade off for the fact that MLB has the best trade deadline of any sport. In the NBA the trade deadline is almost solely used for teams to shed payroll. In the NFL it is almost completely nonexistent. Many MLB teams have made deadline trades that ended up winning the World Series for them less than 3 months later. I don’t think that has ever happened in the NBA or NFL.
NFL free agency is far from nonexistent. Years ago that was true
Ya know what’d be cool af? Is if the free agency/hot-stove had Rock solid time constraints. 2 weeks to meet, deal, finalize. ‘Finalize on..xx/xx/xx; otherwise, no playing time for the rest of the season’.
That’d be one way to remove F/A representatives like Boras from hijacking and monopolizing time, money and ultimately spring training workouts; which in the long run, hurt players physically as well as financially
The free agency market has been slow since some of these big market teams are trying to figure out their budgets since they are close to or even the luxury tax where they are looking to move players via trade to releasing them. That’s why the GM meeting is before the Winter meeting. Everyone in the MLB knows the White Sox have money to spend and prospects to trade away to help out other teams to get under the luxury tax threshold.
I’ll be surprised if he lands $100mil. The way that teams have been spending lately I see him getting like 5/80. Than again it only takes one team.
Twins keep headlining the pursuit of Wheeler, but haven’t made an offer yet?
“For me to poop on!”
Wheeler and Bumgardner want to pitch in NL according to MLB rumors. Nl teams that need/want pitching Mets, Phillis, Reds, Cubs, Cards, Nationals, Brave, Padres, Dodgers, Diamondbacks and more.
cole and wheeler to the angels!
So original. I’m surprised you didn’t mention Strasburg, too.
when you were burned big time once you don’t try to revenge. you look sorrier.
Yes. Make it happen Vizionaire!
Cole 7/245 (35m AAV)
Wheeler 5/95.5m or 6/115(19.1m AAV)
my calculation has angels with appx. $60 mil to spend before hitting threshold.
How long does it take to say: 5 years 100 million!!?? Maybe 10 seconds? Seriously, what else is there to say except what perks do you want? What else is there to say when you meet with his representatives? “How’s the weather?” I find these reports maddening. How can you meet and not exchange contract offers? What else is there to talk about!!?? I know, I’m a man and when I go into a store I know what I want and how much I will pay for it. If it’s too much, I walk to another store. Seriously!!?? What do these people talk about!!??
I am skeptical about the Twins giving a pitcher $100m if that’s what it takes since they have never come close to that guarantee for a pitcher in their history. Plus Wheeler is good, but he isn’t elite. Part of it is still stuff and potential.
Others, have mentioned the White Sox. Something to keep in mind, Minnesota has one of the highest state income taxes in the country. The highest bracket is 9.85%. Whereas, the state income tax of Illinois is currently 4.95%. That is significant and could be a factor if offers are close. Plus having Grandal and his pitch framing helps a little.
Yes, but its Chicago.
The greatest city in the world.
dynamite drop in monty
Chicago isn’t even the greatest city in Cook County.
Minnesota needs a higher state income tax to keep the roads plowed. The good news is, their Summer in 2020 falls on a weekend.
Chicago has the 3rd most millionaires in the US, I think they’d disagree with you.
but they are up north.
Yea… I wouldn’t give up a draft pick for Wheeler on top of 25M. He’ll give them maybe 3 seasons across 5 years.
Wheeler is NOT worth 100 million dollars, not even close. I guess teams think there’s still “potential” in a up and down 29 year old. Not in this case.
As a Mets fan if you give Wheeler $20 million for five years because he throws hard then buyer beware. He has troubles mechanically and he has a knack for losing a game via the HR ball. He is worth about $14 mil for three years as a third starter.
Well, one doesn’t need advanced analytics to prove you’re wrong. His innings pitched, ERA and strikeout totals indicate he’s a legitimate #2 on a good staff. He’s been very good when he’s healthy (3 out of 5 years), and he’s only 29. Starters like that get paid more than $14MM per, sorry.
I must disagree with you Wheeler is not a no.2 starter he is a head case and I have watched him pitch for the Mets and his stats are misleading Sox would do themselves better to look elsewhere
Are you and mumsy01 the same person?
That’s what a pitching coach is for
Couldnt agree more to me Wheeler is a 4th starter
4th starters don’t post up 180+ Ks and sub 4.00 ERAs year after year. Aside from his shortened seasons, he’s been good, not great. Most important of all, he’s been consistent. I would prefer Cole or Strasburg, but Wheeler would add experience and depth to a young rotation of Giolito, Kopech Cease.
Are you and mumsy01 the same person?
I can’t take someone seriously when they say “via the HR ball”
It’s either via the HR, or via the long ball.
Zach Wheeler’s bidding war should be interesting to watch. I’m betting on the Twins and the White Sox pushing hard for him. Both teams have plenty of money and need starting pitching. I’m predicting Wheeler to the White Sox for 5 years, 105 million.
Division rivals, both with pay-roll flexibility can push up the bidding. If the Twins and Sox really go at it, it’s an open question as to which one drops out first. Might be the Sox if they think they have a better shot at MadBum or Ryu.
Dick Williams: “Don’t forget about the Reds!! We are still interested!! We want to be good!!”
Saying is one thing, but have not seen actual any proof Reds are going to put the money where the talk is. I will believe it if and when I see it and that is a big if!!!
White Sox have better options than a Wheeler “bidding war” and loss of draft pick.
Not expected to go too far even if they sign a somewhat big name. Best to focus on more offense and bring Ivan Nova back. Maybe get another SP with no strings attached and a short term contract and let it ride.
White Sox have plenty of assets to adjust at the deadline if we’re contending.
Is this some kind of joke?
Buyer beware to anyone signing Zack Wheeler his stats are misleading as a Mets fan I have seen him pitch and he isnt worth 100 mil chokes in big games – hurt – rattles – loses control in the middle of an inning – cant hold runners on – forgets to back up HP and 3B at times so so fielder – prone to the HR ball = All he wants is a big payday and after that the problems will begin like cant pitch today cuz I dont feel good – my forearm is tight so they put him on the DL and he’s out seen playing golf – etc BUYER BEWARE !!!!!!
so, you want the mets to sign him for 1/$2 mil? dream on!
Literally Laughing out loud at the fools from Chicago. Keep dreamin’ boys
Busted88, You a Mets Fan ? If so your team hasn’t Won a W.S. since ’86. Royals, Astros & Cubs have all won and appeared in plenty of W.S.’s lately rebuilding the same way the ChiSox have. Mets are a clownsuit, HonK, Honk. What’d ya’ll do to Edwin Diaz
Fact is, last season’s staff expectations probably placed Giolito no higher than a #3. Rodon, Kopech, Lopez, now Giolito, Cease. I don’t even think we need Wheeler with all this prime-time! Bring back Nova and let’s go get another beast for the lineup.