As the Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly looking to shed some payroll, they are apparently open to hearing trade offers for Zack Wheeler, the starting pitcher that they signed to a five-year contract during last offseason. Bryce Harper is seemingly off the table, but the Phils could trade their recent signee and infielder Jean Segura in order to free up some money to make a run at free agent catcher J.T. Realmuto. Seeing as the New York Yankees don’t want to pay top dollar for starting pitcher Trevor Bauer, trading for Wheeler could be one avenue to improve the rotation.
Along those lines, NJ Advance Media reporter Joe Giglio suggested a trade idea that may net the Yankees a pitcher that has interested them in the past.
The writer proposes that the Phillies send Wheeler to the New York Yankees, and in return, the Bombers will trade center fielder Aaron Hicks and swingman Michael King.
For the Yankees, surrendering Hicks in any scenario should be painful, since he is one of the league’s best OBP artists and his defense in center field is still adequate, while King is a useful arm that can start or relieve.
The Yankees would solidify their rotation
But Giglio says that Wheeler solidifies the rotation, and defends his point. “Think about this potential Yankees rotation heading into 2021: Cole, Wheeler, Luis Severino, Deivi Garcia, Jonathan Montgomery. That has real promise even without bringing back a veteran like Masahiro Tanaka or scouring the market for a buy-low candidate like Corey Kluber. Wheeler isn’t great, but he’s coming off a very solid (2.92 ERA, 3.22 FIP) first year in Philadelphia.”
He also explains that Wheeler’s deal isn’t too prohibitive. “The Phillies gave Wheeler a five-year, $118M deal before the 2020 season. Assuming no money is picked up by Philadelphia in this exchange, the Yankees would be on the hook for four years, $96.5. Wheeler’s luxury tax figure is $23.6M over the next four seasons. It’s not an easy pill to swallow for a team that does take the tax into consideration, but it’s reasonable as long as Wheeler stays at a high level.”
For the Phillies, the trade saves them money and nets them a starting center fielder, since the Adam Haseley – Roman Quinn duo hasn’t panned out.
What do you think about that idea?