New York Mets: Should Zack Wheeler be the starter who gets traded?

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: Zack Wheeler(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: Zack Wheeler(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

With the New York Mets season going nowhere, it’s time to examine a possible trade asset for the team: starting pitcher Zack Wheeler.

Over the last month, the baseball world has seemed to center themselves around the idea that the New York Mets should trade either Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard.

They are the ace’s and would definitely bring back the best prospect’s.

However, the Mets should seriously consider trading starter Zack Wheeler before dealing deGrom or Syndergaard.

A Wheeler trade wouldn’t bring back the same caliber of prospects, but could still bring back prospects destined for the big leagues.

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Most importantly, a Wheeler trade would allow the Mets to enter a rebuilding period without giving up on the next two years, as any team with deGrom and Syndergaard has a potential to stay competitive.

Over the last 3 weeks or so, Wheeler has been the Mets most consistent starter outside of deGrom. According to FanGraphs, Wheeler has made 4 starts of 6+ innings while giving up only 2 earned runs or less over that time.

Wheeler also has a 3.65 ERA in the month of June while opposing hitters are only batting .233 against him.

Wheeler’s improving numbers are extremely valuable to the Mets right now, who seem primed to be sellers at the trade deadline.

There are two other factors to Wheeler that will make him extremely valuable to team’s that are looking to contend and need starting pitching.

The first is that Wheeler is controllable from a contractual standpoint. Wheeler has two more years left before free agency after the 2020 season.

Teams would much rather trade for someone who can be an asset for the future rather than a two-month rental player.

The second factor is that Wheeler differs from many starting pitchers when it comes to in-game durability.

Also according to FanGraphs, Wheeler’s opponents only have a .256 batting average the third time through the batting order.

That is better than his average against hitters the first time through the order, which sits at .269.

One of the major reasons for the trend in baseball towards increased bullpen workload is the fact that starter’s struggle starting their third time through the opposing lineup.

Wheeler is the opposite of that idea, providing major value to team’s worried that their bullpen may not be able to sustain a deep postseason run.

Wheeler can get a team into the 6th or 7th inning, which makes it much easier for a team to get the ball to their closer compared to starters that come out in the 5th.

Next: deGrom on the wrong side of history

Instead of trading proven ace’s deGrom and Syndergaard, the Mets should take a look at trading Wheeler. This way they can begin a potential rebuild without giving up their most valuable assets.