Given the high asking price for the Mets’ young controllable pitching assets in Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler is reportedly drawing interest as a less costly option for contending teams. The righty is having his first healthy season since having Tommy John surgery in 2015 and his numbers under the tutelage of pitching coach Dave Eiland show it. He has a 3.44 ERA since June 1 and has averaged over six innings per start during that span. He is on pace for the best professional season of his young and injury-riddled career.
Wheeler has one more year left of team control beyond 2018, which increases his value over the Mets’ other trade candidates in Asdrubal Cabrera and Jeurys Familia, who will both be free agents at the end of this season. While no deals are imminent for any of the three players, Wheeler’s name has come up in trade rumors enough that the chances of him being moved may be almost as high as Cabrera and Familia. Meanwhile, the group of controllable players that includes Steven Matz, Amed Rosario, Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman remain unlikely to be traded and the chances of a deal involving deGrom or Syndergaard are slim.
The Yankees have reportedly asked the Mets about Wheeler, although a deal between the two teams remains “quite unlikely.” However, for what it’s worth, the Mets had a scout at Yankees prospect Justus Sheffield’s recent start. But it seems unlikely that the Yankees would give up a top prospect like Sheffield for Wheeler, especially given that they were reluctant to include him in a proposed package for the Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado.