Wheeler, 28, has pitched to a 4.47 ERA, 3.65 FIP, 85 ERA+, and 1.331 WHIP in 15 starts so far this year (88.2 IP). However, his ERA is even lower over his last eight starts (3.38).
With the Mets 15 games under .500 as of Saturday and a new three-headed monster calling the shots as general manager, New York will likely be aggressive as the trade deadline approaches in a few weeks and Wheeler’s name is sure to come up a lot in trade talks.
The right-hander, who is now completely healthy and has cranked his fastball up to 99 mph at times, could be an appealing name to teams who are looking to add a starter for the playoff push.
Wheeler is under team control through next season, after which he can become a free agent.
It’s been a long time coming for Mets fans to see Wheeler contribute. He was originally acquired in 2011 in the deal that sent Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants, and debuted two years later.
His best season statistically came in 2014, where he went 11-11 with a 3.54 ERA in 32 starts. However, he missed all of 2015 and 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and was trying to regain his footing last year when he finally did return.
Though this season has been nothing short of a disaster for the Mets, seeing Wheeler and fellow starter Steven Matz bounce back has been a bright spot.
It’s funny, because if you remember, Wheeler wasn’t even on the Opening Day roster. After a rough spring, he started the year at Triple-A, but was called up in April. And since then, he’s been a solid back end starter for New York.
I digress. With pitching of utmost importance and the trade market set to be somewhat thin in regards to starters, Wheeler’s name is sure to be thrown around in trade talks a lot in the next month or so.
But should the Mets trade him?
Well, I’m of the belief that anyone can be had for the right price, and I’m sure the new triumvirate calling the shots as acting Mets general manager will field offers for pretty much everyone, especially Wheeler.
However, it’s a tough call. On one hand, the Mets have just looked awful in nearly every facet this season, and it’s hard to imagine that in one years time they will be a contender again. On the other, New York has a good core of young players that they could build around and complement with free agent signings this winter and strong trades, but that’s a huge if.
Any number of things can happen in the coming weeks. The new general managers could choose to completely tear down this team and sell off everyone and rebuild from the ground up, though I don’t foresee that as a strong possibility. They could, which is more likely, try to retool and get back into contention by say 2020, by which point Wheeler would be gone anyway.
The biggest thing that needs to happen is that, if they do trade Wheeler, they shouldn’t just give him away. That’s a big cliche, but it’s true. They have him through next season, and if he performs next year during the first half of 2019, competing teams will still be interested in him a calendar year from now.
So I turn it over to you, Mets fans. Should New York trade Zack Wheeler, or should they hold on to him?