It was all but guaranteed that the New York Mets would offer Zack Wheeler the qualifying offer before free agency starts. Ironically, the man who he was traded for, Carlos Beltran, ran the Mets news cycle for the day. Wheeler is going to be offered the one-year, $17.8 million deal prior to Monday’s 5 p.m. deadline.
A bit of baseball kismet: The Mets traded Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler in July 2011.
Yesterday, Wheeler officially became a free agent.
Today, the Mets decided on Beltran to be their next manager.
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) November 1, 2019
Wheeler has until November 14 to either accept or decline the Mets offer. At age 29, he is in the prime of his free agnecy years and it would be the first time in his career he is experiencing free agency. Behind Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, Wheeler is one of the prime pitchers in this offseason’s free agency class.
Consistency is Key
Over the last two seasons Wheeler has made 60 starts and has 374 strikeouts in 377.2 innings pitched. He has been even better in the second half with a 2.26 ERA over the last two seasons. Wheeler is also coming off a career high 195.1 innings pitched and is drawing interest from multiple contenders.
Watched a bunch of Zack Wheeler video last night and I’m somehow even more convinced that he needs to be on the Twins in 2020 and beyond. pic.twitter.com/uaJ9OGsFGa
— Matt Braun (@matthew_btwins) November 4, 2019
Wheeler has emerged into the pitcher he was projected to be and is drawing interest from teams like the Astros, Dodgers and Twins. Should he decline the qualifying offer, will likely earn anywhere from $20-$23 million per year from whichever team signs him.
Wheeler Era in NY Will Not End Quickly
Should Wheeler decline the offer, the Mets will still heavily pursue him. Noah Syndergaard is a major question mark heading into 2020 as the Mets number two. Wheeler stepped in as the Mets second best starter after Jacob deGrom. He is still getting better, in the middle of his prime years and the Mets should do anything they can to bring him back.