Mets Could Decide On Wheeler’s Future This Offseason

Zack Wheeler came into this season as an afterthought for many people as he had missed two full seasons (2015 and 2016) after getting Tommy John Surgery and had an injury plagued 2017 season as well.

The right-hander was even optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to start off the season, but eventually got his chance and certainly made the most of it.

On the year, Wheeler has a 12-7 record to go along with a 3.31 ERA, 179 strikeouts, and 1.12 WHIP in 29 starts (182 1/3 innings pitched). That is the highest innings total and start total since 2014 for the 28-year-old.

Wheeler is set to hit free agency after the 2019 season and the Mets assistant GM John Ricco, who is currently doing much of the talking in place of Sandy Alderson right now, confirmed that the next GM will be tasked with deciding whether to trade or potentially extend him, as detailed by Mike Puma of the New York Post.

“Part of the thinking for me is we are going to head into a new general manager and now with [Wheeler’s] performance I think we have just given the organization a chance to make that decision this fall, honestly with a better set of circumstances for us.”

The Mets debated trading Wheeler at this year’s MLB Trade Deadline, but many teams had been hoping to buy low on him due to his long injury history and his overall performance up to that point, which still showed a 4.11 ERA largely due to the fact that he had a 5.40 ERA through his first nine starts.

However, his velocity has risen throughout the year and his ERA has even dipped by over two runs since that rough beginning to the 2018 campaign.

Ricco has been thrilled by the progress that Wheeler has made this year and thinks that Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland have been instrumental in his development into not only one of the best starters on the team, but even the league as a whole.

“Part of the thinking for me is we are going to head into a new general manager and now with [Wheeler’s] performance I think we have just given the organization a chance to make that decision this fall, honestly with a better set of circumstances for us.”

Wheeler, for his part, wishes that he would have started the year here, and much like anyone else would, he is hoping to receive some recognition for his accomplishments this year and in the future.

“I should have started off the season here. It would be nice to finish out the season, if that doesn’t happen. It would be nice to be in the Cy Young voting, so it could always be better. Hopefully, next year that is where we will be.”

The Mets are likely to shut down Wheeler very soon, if not before his next start due to his high innings total, but he has certainly made the most of them and has forced the Mets hand in that they need to decide on his future with the team sooner rather than later.

About Josh Finkelstein 472 Articles
I am a junior at SUNY Cortland majoring in Sport Management. I have been a big Mets fan since 2007 and David Wright has and always will be my favorite player. Follow me on Twitter @JoshFinkMets