When talking about Mets’ players who had breakout seasons, a few players come to mind.
Brandon Nimmo blossomed into a solid outfielder with huge on-base potential, Jeff McNeil rocketed through the minors and did nothing but hit upon his promotion to Queens, and Zack Wheeler developed into the ace we all hoped he’d be when we acquired him seven years ago.
Wheeler’s season will be overshadowed by the dominance that was Jacob deGrom, but in the second half, his numbers were deGrom like.
In 11 games post All-Star break, Wheeler went on a tear. He started 11 games and notched a sparkly 9-1 record to go along with a lock down 1.68 ERA, 0.813 WHIP and 8.8 K/9.
Unfortunately for Wheeler, he missed a big chunk of his Mets’ career sidelined by Tommy John surgery and its subsequent recovery, but now that he’s healthy, he is the ace we all hoped he’d be.
The right-hander has one more year left with the Mets before he can hit free agency prior to the 2020 season. With that being said, now is the time to lock Wheeler up.
Going into his age 29 season, Wheeler still has several more years left in his prime, and considering he blossomed late in his career, this could be the start of a wonderful career.
Let’s face it, good starting pitchers don’t grow on trees, and the ones that do hit free agency are very expensive. The Mets already have one of the up-and-coming aces in the game and shouldn’t even let him get to free agency.
If this team is set on building around their pitching, they have to lock up guys like Wheeler and deGrom before it’s too late.
For Wheeler, the clock is ticking even louder. There’s no way he will negotiate in season, so if the Mets want to get a deal done, it has to be before Spring Training.
Otherwise, two possible outcomes will happen. The best case scenario if they don’t resign him is that they make a playoff push and he’s an integral part. However, if the Mets are hot garbage again this year, they are going to ship him off at the deadline and almost certainly won’t get a big package since he’s in his walk year.
Right now, we are seeing deGrom, Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard healthy and performing, potentially at the best they’ve ever been as a unit. You want to do all you can to give those guys a chance to carry you in the playoffs now and in the future.
So I turn the question over to you, Mets fans. Do you think New York should lock up Wheeler?