Carlos Beltran’s introduction as the manager of the Mets was not the only news that resulted from today’s press conference. Brodie Van Wagenen also took the opportunity to announce that the club plans to extend a qualifying offer to free agent pitcher Zack Wheeler prior to today’s deadline.
In the wake of a solid 2019 season, Wheeler will now have a week to decide whether to accept the offer—which would essentially give him a one year, $17.8 million contract and allow him to hit the free agent market again after the 2020 season—or decline it and try to attain a better deal on the open market. Any club that does sign him would then have to surrender a draft pick to the Mets, who would receive the compensatory pick at the end of the first round.
If Wheeler accepts the qualifying offer, the Mets will head into 2020 with the same rotation that powered them to their strong second half in 2019. If he declines it, then they will need to either re-sign him to a larger contract or find another starting pitcher to replace him, but they will at least receive a solid draft pick to help them rebuild their farm system. It is thus essentially a win-win situation for the Mets, and now they must wait for Wheeler to make his decision.