Mets right-handed pitcher Zack Wheeler will be making $1.9 million in 2018 after he won his salary arbitration case. New York’s offer of $1.5 million was based on Wheeler throwing for a 5.21 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in 86.1 innings last year.
Wheeler missed all of 2015 and 2016 due to Tommy John surgery, and he got off to a slow start in his return to action. However, the Georgia native settled down in May and got his ERA down to 3.45 in early June before his campaign fell apart. He had two disastrous starts in a row in mid-June and struggled throughout July before landing on the disabled list with a stress reaction in his arm. Wheeler didn’t pitch again for the rest of the season.
With less than 400 career innings logged, there’s still upside left for the 27-year-old, but the Mets have just two more years left to unlock it before he becomes a free agent. Wheeler made $800,000 last season in his first year of arbitration and is not guaranteed a spot in the rotation this spring. In order to land one of those coveted starting roles, he’ll have to be more impressive than other players in New York’s group of misfit pitchers that includes Matt Harvey, Robert Gsellman, and Seth Lugo.