New York Mets’ Free Agent Profile: Julio Teheran

New York Mets target Julio Teheran.

With Zack Wheeler likely to leave the New York Mets need to zero in on a quality replacement. Julio Teheran would be an excellent choice.

There is no one-for-one replacement for Zack Wheeler on the market, at least that the Mets can afford. They aren’t likely to dole out big money to keep Wheeler or replace him with Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg.

That means the Mets are going to look at more realistic options if any at all. GM Brodie Van Wagenen has already stated that he is happy with the depth on the team and that Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman could move back to the starting rotation.

If the Mets truly believe that to be true the team is in deep trouble. If it’s posturing that means the team is likely looking at lower end pitchers. Someone who will fit the fifth starter role on the team. Julio Teheran looks like the best guy to fill that role.

Teheran has been with the Braves his entire career to this point. He’s always been a solid pitcher who outperforms his peripherals. That will likely drive his price down.

Over the last two seasons, Teheran has had a 3.88 ERA, 4.75 FIP, 1.247 WHIP, 8.3 K/9, and 4.3 BB/9. Those aren’t the most impressive numbers. However, Teheran brings two things to the table that the Mets need.

First, he is an innings eater. Teheran has pitched at least 174 innings in each of the last seven seasons. He has always been healthy and able to eat innings. For a Mets team that has been decimated by injuries for years having a durable fifth starter is a necessity.

Second, Teheran has a wealth of experience pitching in the NL East. Teheran has a career 2.98 ERA against the Mets, 3.97 ERA against the Phillies, 3.43 ERA against the Marlins, and a 3.85 ERA against the Nationals.

That success in the NL East is proof that Teheran can succeed against the Mets’ top competition. That’s something Teheran has that no other potential fifth starter on the market has.

Teheran is far from perfect. His peripherals are bad and show that Teheran’s number should decline. However, they’ve said that his entire career and they just haven’t.

It’s possible that Teheran has just found a way to succeed despite poor analytics. Whatever the case may be he is an ideal candidate for the Mets fifth starter role.

He will be cheap, he’s young, and he’s succeeded both against the NL East and as an innings eater. That’s enough to say that if the Mets do plan on replacing Wheeler with a fifth starter type Teheran should be the guy.

New York Yankees: Two free agents the Yankees should consider

New York Mets, Zack Wheeler

The New York Yankees are in the offseason with one major goal: get quality starting pitching. General manager Brian Cashman has already said they’re after Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, and Madison Bumgarner.

These are all three big names in the Major Leagues who are most likely looking for lengthy and expensive contracts. Even though the Yankees can pretty much afford anyone, that doesn’t mean they’ll definitely sign with the Yanks.

Here are other available pitchers on the free-agent market that the Yankees should consider if they don’t land one of those three guys.

Zack Wheeler

Known for his high-heat, Zack Wheeler is someone who can give the Yankees exactly what they need. Behind the Yankee offense, this duo could be something special. After posting a 3.96 ERA in 31 starts, the Yankees could grab him for a contract in their favor.

Wheeler has an arsenal of pitches, throwing a four-seam fastball, slider, curve, chance, and splitter. Something else attractive about Wheeler is he consistently goes the distance, usually leaving the game after giving seven innings. With how to dominate the Yankee bullpen is, this is something the New York Yankees need in their starting rotation.

Wade Miley

Someone who sorta flew under the radar this past season, Wade Miley had a great year with the Houston Astros. In 33 games started, Miley posted a 14-6 record with the World Series runner-ups.

Miley is an enticing player because he’s one of the few MLB starters who doesn’t rely on the fastball. He uses a cutter and a changeup as his primary pitches while working in a fastball with a curve and slider.

Will the New York Yankees jump on Mets’ Zack Wheeler in free agency?

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Zack Wheeler

The New York Yankees might not be actively in search of a starting pitcher to supplement the loss of CC Sabathia, especially with Michael King and Deivi Garcia waiting in the wings. Still, the thought of bringing in a top arm is undoubtedly enticing.

General manager Brian Cashman could have three fantastic options to choose from if he elects to add a premium starter, which would make his rotation one of the most intimidating in major league baseball. To start, he has a potential Cy Young Award winner that finished the 2019 season 20-5 with an AL-best 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts. His name would be Gerrit Cole, who’s primed to smash the record for the biggest contract for a starting pitcher.

Cole is in line to earn upwards of $30 million per season ($200 million total). The Yankees can afford Gerrit, despite the luxury tax threshold, but their monetary investment might be better allocated in different areas. A cheaper pitcher could be more attractive, which is where former Met, Zack Wheeler, comes into play.

Wheeler will be “cheap” by no means, but he will land a bit lower than Cole on the market. He’s a safe fallback option that is just 29-years-old, similar to Cole, and set career highs in innings pitched (195.1) and strikeouts (195) in 2019. He’s a strong-arm pitcher with a deadly fastball — right down the Yankees’ alley-way. However, Wheeler has the opportunity to sign the Mets’ $17.8 million qualifying offer, but he’s expected to reject considering the pay-day that could be headed his way.

Opening the Bombers’ wallet will be the question Cashman has to face, as he’s been stingy in recent seasons in regards to pitching. He passed on Patrick Corbin last year, a move that could have paid dividends in the postseason, and failed to reel in Zack Greinke at the July 31 trade deadline.

This is a look at what the New York Yankees starting rotation ‘could’ look like given they signed Wheeler:

1.) Luis Severino

2.) Zack Wheeler

3.) James Paxton

4.) Masahiro Tanaka

5.) J.A. Happ

6.) Domingo German

7.) Jordan Montgomery

8.) Michael King/Deivi Garcia

Given the number of pitchers they have, it makes sense to pass on a big-named arm, but with injuries being a severe problem last season, being safe should be a priority.

New York Mets: Zack Wheeler Given Qualifying Offer

New York Mets, Zack Wheeler

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.

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.

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.

New York Yankees could go after Mets’ starting pitcher, Zack Wheeler

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Zack Wheeler

With the New York Yankees undoubtedly looking to add to their starting pitching rotation this offseason, multiple options present upgrades. Gerrit Cole remains the top of the totem pole and will likely be in the mix, but his $30+ million expected average salary per season might be a deterrent, but the Yankees can afford it.

However, New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler is entering the free agent pool and could be a stellar add as well. He had an impressive 2019 campaign, posting a WAR of 4.1 in just over 195 innings pitched. His 11-8 record is packed full of excellent pitching outings and terrible run production from his team. The Yankees rarely have that issue and would be a great fit for his talents.

Having already faced the bright lights of New York City, he’s a logical player for general manager Brian Cashman to consider, and his second consecutive season with a sub 4.00 ERA proves his worth. Joining a rotation of Luis Severino, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and J.A. Happ would give the Yanks a solid foundation with money left over to spend.

Wheeler earned a just below $6 million this season but will get paid on the open market. The Bombers might have to spend somewhere in the $15-17 range for his talents, which could be a bargain if he continues to perform well at just 29-years-old.

What makes Zack Wheeler so attractive for the New York Yankees?

Despite Wheeler’s familiarity with the bright lights of New York City and the past two years of success, another factor plays a part in the Yankees’ potential interest. His fastball. The former Met has one of the league’s most electric fastballs, blowing away hitters — a desirable attribute. That aspect alone could earn him a massive payday, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Cashman dropped the hammer on this tentative deal.

New York Mets: Zack Wheeler’s Last Start as a Met?

Will the New York Yankees land Zack Wheeler in free agency?

Zack Wheeler took the mound for what was potentially the last time as a New York Met. He cruised through seven innings, but ran into trouble in the eighth against the Miami Marlins. The result ended up being a 4-2 victory in favor of the Marlins.

Overall, Wheeler was very effective allowing three runs in eight innings while striking out 10 batters for the fourth time this season. Wheeler also threw 83 strikes out of his 113 pitches, which was a season high for him. It was the eighth inning when Wheeler ran into trouble and fell victim to the home run.

New and Old Faces Strike

Tyler Heinemann got things started as his two run home run, his first of his career, tied the game in the eighth. Curtis Granderson followed with a home run to give the Marlins a 3-2 lead, which seemed to happen out of no where. Wheeler was able to finish the inning but what could be his final start as a Met, resulted in a loss.

Wheeler will head into free agency in the offseason and should draw plenty of interest from multiple teams. He finished with a career high in innings pitched, strikeouts and his lowest walk rate. The Mets will certainly offer him the qualifying offer, but Wheeler has shown he is worth much more than that. The Mets should try to keep him and deGrom together for the future.

Just like last season, Wheeler has pitched significantly better during the second half. Over the last two season’s Wheeler has a 3.65 ERA which puts him in the same class as Madison Bumgarner and Shane Bieber. He has also made 60 starts over the last two seasons, proving he is a very reliable option for the Mets.

New York Mets: Scouts Predict Zack Wheeler Will End Up With Astros

Will the New York Yankees land Zack Wheeler in free agency?

The New York Mets currently own the starting pitcher market at the trade deadline. The major question now is: where does Zack Wheeler go? The scouts say it is going to be Wheeler to the Houston Astros. However, those same scouts were caught off guard when the Mets landed Marcus Stroman on Sunday.

Wheeler seems like the logical pitcher to trade, but Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen is unpredictable. Wheeler had some tough luck which led to a 4.71 ERA, but that is not limiting the demand for his services.

What is the Astros Current Pitching Situation?

The Astros feature a dominant trio of Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander and Wade Miley. The rest of the rotation has given them little to nothing. Brad Peacock was a good fourth starter, but the quickest he will return is mid-August.

His replacements have not faired well. The Astros top three have combined for an ERA of 2.95, while every other starter outside of Peacock has an ERA of 6.37. Wheeler would fit in very well to the fourth starter spot and showed he can pitch like a Cy Young contender during the second half of 2018.

What Should the Mets Expect For Wheeler?

The Mets certainly will not land the likes of a top tier prospect like Forrest Whitley, but adding any of the pitchers in the middle of their top 30 list should be considered a fair trade. Van Wagenen has the leverage here, and if he does not like the return, he can simply keep Wheeler.

With Wheeler remaining in the rotation, it gives the Mets a very strong starting core. 28 of their final 57 games are against teams who are either in front of them in the division or wild card. If they can keep themselves close, they will be in control of their own destiny. Only six games out with two months to play, there is certainly a chance for the Mets to make a playoff push.

New York Mets: Zack Wheeler to Return on Friday

Will the New York Yankees land Zack Wheeler in free agency?

The New York Mets top trade piece, Zack Wheeler, will start on Friday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Wheeler had been sidelined since July 7 because of a shoulder impingement. He threw a bullpen session Friday and live batting practice Tuesday without any issues.

Wheeler will only have one start to prove his trade worth, due to the unfortunate timing of his injury. He drew interest from multiple teams before he landed on the injured list. Throughout the year Wheeler had plenty of life on his pitches, but struggled to find any consistency. This led to a 4.69 ERA and a higher home run rate than he had in 2018.

Wheeler’s Deceiving Numbers

The interesting part about Wheeler’s season is his ERA makes it look worse than it actually is. FIP is “Fielding independent Pitching” and it only takes into account pitcher’s three true outcomes (HR/BB/K). Wheeler’s FIP in 2018 and 2019 are 3.25 and 3.67, not too much of a difference. He has allowed multiple bloop hits this year and the Mets poor defense does not turn those bloop hits into outs.

Should Wheeler put together a good start Friday, there should still be a large amount of teams lining up to acquire him. If he struggles, teams might have interest, but their offers will be significantly lower. If he puts together a strong August, the Mets could put him on waivers and deal him before the August 31 deadline. Justin Verlander was a waiver trade and it worked out perfectly for the Houston Astros.

Can Wheeler Regain His Form?

Wheeler found success in the second half of 2018, in which he actually pitched to a lower ERA than Jacob deGrom. After receiving extra rest due to the All-Star break and recovery from his injury, he should expect to return to elite form.

The Mets can extend a qualifying offer to Wheeler during the offseason if they do not trade him. Wheeler was at his peak value last offseason, but the Mets kept him in hopes of winning this season. He has never made a postseason start and his start Friday could determine if he makes his first, this year.

Could the New York Mets trade for Yankees Young Pitcher Deivi Garcia

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

2019 has been a major disappointment for the New York Mets, but potentially making a big trade before July 31 could brighten the Mets future.

The Mets sent their top talent evaluator, Omar Minaya, to scout Yankees’ top pitching prospect Deivi Garcia.

Garcia recently played in the future’s game and is the #4 prospect in the Yankees organization, according to MLB Pipeline.

He started the year in High-A and he made four starts and posted a 3.06 ERA. Garcia had the same success in Double-A, with a 3.00 ERA in 51 innings with 81 strikeouts. He has become known for his strikeout ability even though he is only 5-feet 9 inches.

Garcia made his Triple-A debut last night and was solid in his first start. He pitched five innings and allowed three runs while striking out six. Garcia certainly could be a big piece of a trade involving Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler.

There still is a lot of time for Garcia to reach his potential. He is only 20 years old and became the youngest player currently in Triple-A. Before he becomes the centerpiece of the deal, an important part of his growth needs on getting deep into ball games.

Over his first four seasons in professional baseball he has only pitched into the seven innings twice. In a trade for a one-year rental, like Zack Wheeler, Garcia is certainly acceptable as a piece in return. Given his level of talent right now, he still is at least another full season away from getting an opportunity to make an impact on a good team.

In a trade for Noah Syndergaard, Garcia has to be packaged with other big league ready prospects. This includes guys like Clint Frazier or Estevan Florial. Even though the Mets seem out of it, they are only 5.5 out of the second Wild Card spot and the Mets still have control of Syndergaard after this season.

Garcia has a lot of promise and has flown up the ranks of the Yankees system very quickly. If the Mets do not take the risk on trading for him, there are certainly many teams lining up for his services.

New York Mets: Who Can Step Up with Zack Wheeler Heading to the IL

New York Mets, Zack Wheeler

The New York Mets put Zack Wheeler on the 10-day IL today with right shoulder fatigue. This season has been an ongoing struggle for Wheeler after he seemingly had it all together in 2018. He is 6-6 with a 4.69 ERA in 119 innings.

Wheeler falls in line with Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz as Mets starters who just have not been able to consistently pitch well. While healthy, all signs pointed towards the Mets potentially trading Wheeler at the trade deadline.

At first, many people look at the situation as the Mets killing their opportunity to move Wheeler at the deadline. He will have the opportunity to make two starts before July 31, should he stay healthy.

No matter how awful this season has seemed, the Mets are somehow 5.5 games out of the second wild card with plenty of time to catch up. Looking at it from the perspective of the Mets trying to get back in the race, someone needs to step up in Wheeler’s spot for the meantime.

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Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman could be possible candidates, but neither of them has started a game this season which makes them unlikely. Walker Lockett and Corey Oswalt would be next in line considering the Mets have to replace Wheeler’s spot on the roster. Both have experience starting at the major league level, but neither has been able to pitch to any success.

The best option would be giving Chris Mazza an opportunity to start. He has only allowed one run in the 5.2 innings he has thrown so far. Mazza is obviously no Jacob deGrom, but has been a career minor leaguer who has grinded to get this opportunity. No matter what, he is better than two guys with career ERAs over six and over 10.