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  • Zack Wheeler - Gets QO

    Zack Wheeler on What It Would Take to Sign Extension

    'Everybody's number one goal is to make it to free agency'


    by DANNY ABRIANO

    29 Apr 2019, 6:03 PM ET

    Zack Wheeler is coming off arguably the best start of his career and one of the most dominant starts anyone in baseball has made this season.

    And as he gets closer and closer to free agency, Wheeler is still open to signing an extension with the Mets. But as was the case during the offseason, it won't be at much of a discount.

    "Well you know everybody's goal…everybody's number one goal is to make it to free agency," Wheeler told SNY. "You know I think that's where you really make your money and sort of set your career so. ... you know I love being here. I love being with the Mets. The fans are unbelievable and there's nowhere else better to play than New York."

    As far as what it would take in terms of dollars and years, Wheeler was direct.

    "But at the same time I'm this close to free agency so if they want to offer me, it's gotta be pretty close to what I'd get during free agency -- you know, just to be fair," he said. "Like I said, I love being here, I want to stay here. It's just one of those things. ... it's still up in the air and we'll see what happens down the road."

    What was the key to Wheeler's success last season and his success this season after a very shaky first start? Health and consistency.

    "I'd probably say 80 percent of it is physical, for me personally," he said. "I think mentally I'm always gonna be there. I'm always gonna be locked in. I'm always gonna go out there ant try to be a bulldog out there, be aggressive and get ahead, sort of own the at-bas. ... but I think the biggest part for me is just mechanically is just staying in tune from start to start, pitch to pitch, inning to inning and sort of just working off of that."

    The 28-year-old Wheeler put it all together in 2018, putting a bow on his season with a second half where he displayed the same kind of dominance that was displayed by Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom.

    Overall, Wheeler had a 3.31 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with 179 strikeouts in 182.1 innings (29 starts) for the Mets last season.

    If the Mets don't extend him, he'll be a free agent after this season for the first time in his career.

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  • #2
    https://twitter.com/mikemayerMMO/status/
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    • #3
      Zack Wheeler Rumors: Yankees, Braves, Brewers


      by CONNOR BYRNE
      3 Jul 2019 at 12:16 AM CDT

      Trades between the Yankees and Mets have been rare during the crosstown rivals’ histories. The clubs have made just 15 deals since 1966, in fact, but we might see No. 16 this summer. With the starter-needy Yankees pushing for a World Series and the Mets looking like non-contenders, the New York franchises could come together on a trade for soon-to-be free-agent right-hander Zack Wheeler this month. The Yankees are already known to like Wheeler, and the Mets wouldn’t be averse to sending him to the Bronx, Andy Martino of SNY.tv says.

      The Mets are more focused on getting the best offer for Wheeler than where they’d trade him. But the Yankees are sure to face plenty of competition for Wheeler if they do make an earnest attempt to pull him in before the July 31 deadline. Martino names Atlanta and Milwaukee as just a couple other teams with interest in the 29-year-old. The Brewers were “enamored” of Wheeler’s upside as recently as last offseason, per Marc Carig of The Athletic (subscription link).

      The heat-throwing Wheeler put on a show for an array of scouts Tuesday when he handled, of all teams, the Yankees. Wheeler fanned eight over 6 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and a walk. He’s still running an uninspiring 4.42 ERA through 114 frames this season, up significantly from last year’s 3.31. It hasn’t helped that Wheeler has pitched in front of a dreadful defense, though, and the rest of his output is far more promising than his simple run prevention numbers. Wheeler has struck out 9.71 batters per nine while walking 2.53, giving him an outstanding 3.71 K/BB ratio. He’s also inducing grounders at a 45.3 percent clip and infield flies 14 percent of the time – the latter of which ranks 13th among qualified starters.

      Adding to Wheeler’s appeal, he’s on a $5.975MM salary that every contender should be able to afford. It appears he’ll join Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner as one of the top two rental starters available in July, barring a miraculous Mets turnaround. The Mets have won two in a row, though they’re still just 39-47 and six games out in a jam-packed National League playoff race. Assuming New York elects to sell, dealing Wheeler would give the team a chance to replenish its lackluster farm system to at least some degree. The Mets just may be able to do that at the Yankees’ expense.

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      • #4
        IMO, Wheeler's as good as gone...they have made zero noise in trying to re-sign him, and if they keep him, he would be subject to that nonsense Qualifying Offer...by trading him, they could get back a bonafide centerfielder and maybe some good minor leaguers...and then see how things play out in Free agency

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        • saxon
          saxon commented
          Editing a comment
          what center fielders might be available in a trade? and could we get Frazier out of here as well, so that we could put one of our infielders back in the infield?

          Some ideas?
          Ender Inciarte: one of the best defensive CFers in the last few years...pretty decent speed...could we absorb his bat in place of Lagares?

          Michael Taylor: Nats would not be looking to upgrade for the playoffs, but Taylor's defense is being wasted on the bench in DC;

          Arron Hicks?

      • #5
        The Yanks just signed Hicks to a 7 year deal this past off-season I believe? And I think he is 29 now, CFers do not age well, historically. I think Inciarte would be a huge upgrade over Lags. Do the Padres have any good OF prospects we could get?

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        • saxon
          saxon commented
          Editing a comment
          Didn't realize that, no way that I would want Hicks for that long, unless they took Cano back in the deal

      • #6
        And I really like Wheeler but if we aren't signing him, let's get something for the future. I think he is more reliable than Thor but again, if no plans to sign him, ship him out.

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        • #7
          https://twitter.com/RisingAppleBlog/status/
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          • #8
            Zack Wheeler Scheduled To Return Friday


            by CONNOR BYRNE
            22 Jul 2019 at 9:37 PM CDT

            The Mets expect to get arguably their top trade chip back before the July 31 deadline. Right-hander Zack Wheeler, on the injured list since July 15 with a shoulder impingement, is slated to start Friday against Pittsburgh, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Wheeler got through a bullpen session unscathed on Sunday and is “likely” to throw live batting practice Tuesday, according to Puma.

            Assuming Wheeler does make it back by the end of the week, he’ll have one opportunity to prove he’s healthy prior to the end-of-month trade cutoff. Wheeler’s arm looked plenty lively over the season’s first few months, but his injury has prevented him from taking a major league mound since July 7. Before then, an array of teams showed reported interest in Wheeler, who stands out as the non-contending Mets’ best impending free agent and one of the most appealing soon-to-be FAs in baseball. The Mets could keep Wheeler and issue him a qualifying offer in the offseason, meaning they’d still get something for his departure, though a healthy version seems more likely to wind up on the move in the next week-plus.

            The 29-year-old Wheeler’s just a season removed from serving as one of the NL’s top starters, as he logged a 3.31 ERA/3.25 FIP with 4.2 fWAR/3.9 bWAR in 182 1/3 innings. His output was all the more impressive considering Wheeler barely pitched from 2015-17 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in the first of those years.

            Now four years away from his procedure, Wheeler hasn’t enjoyed as much success as he did in 2018. Thus far, Wheeler has pitched to a 4.69 ERA through 119 innings, having seen his HR/9 climb from .69 last season to 1.21 this season. But Wheeler remains among the game’s hardest throwers, and the rest of his numbers are vastly more encouraging than what could be a somewhat deceiving ERA. Wheeler’s 9.83 K/9, 2.57 BB/9 and 3.67 FIP all suggest he’d help a contender down the stretch. It appears he’ll have a chance to make his case Friday.

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            • #9
              https://twitter.com/michaelgbaron/status/
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              • #10
                OK, I'll go on record here.

                Resign this guy. At least offer him the QO and buy time for negotiations, but resign him.

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                • #11
                  someone pointed out to me that it's a high chance that Wheeler accepts the QO, so not trading him was essentially offering him a 1 year ~18M contract next year. Then by taking the QO, he can become unrestricted the following year (hopefully after a better year). Obviously a lot of baseball, and a potential post season appearance where heroes are made, so that could change - but it was an interesting thought, so passing it along.

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                  • #12
                    Originally posted by NY FANG View Post
                    someone pointed out to me that it's a high chance that Wheeler accepts the QO, so not trading him was essentially offering him a 1 year ~18M contract next year. Then by taking the QO, he can become unrestricted the following year (hopefully after a better year). Obviously a lot of baseball, and a potential post season appearance where heroes are made, so that could change - but it was an interesting thought, so passing it along.
                    That if those in charge don't change the rules as they are still in flux on what the right compensation for losing a player to Free Agency.

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                    • #13
                      usually there is a full year before implementation for exactly that reason... can't make plans and then have the rug pulled out from under you.

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                      • #14
                        10 Players Receive Qualifying Offers



                        by Jeff Todd
                        4 Nov 2019, 5:01 PM CDT
                        It appears that ten players have received qualifying offers this year. Bob Nightengale of USA Today rounds up the full slate of players on Twitter, some of whom were already reported and covered on this site.

                        This year’s qualifying offer value is $17.8MM for a one-year term. Players issued the offer will have ten days to assess their options. Should a player reject the offer and fail to work out a deal with their existing team, he will enter the market carrying the requirement that a signing team sacrifice draft compensation. (While the former team would not stand to lose a pick, it would not gain a compensatory pick if it re-signs that player.) Click here for a full rundown of the QO rules.

                        This represents a bounce back up in the number of players to receive a qualifying offer. Last year was a record-low of seven, with other offseasons ranging from nine (2012, 2017) all the way up to twenty offers (2015).

                        Here are the ten players:
                        There are a few notable players that were eligible for the QO but did not receive it. Those players will hit the open market free and clear of draft compensation. Didi Gregorius of the Yankees and Cole Hamels of the Cubs were perhaps the leading possibilities beyond those that received the offer. J.D. Martinez would surely have received one from the Red Sox had he opted out of his deal; Aroldis Chapman was also certain to get a QO had he not agreed to a new contract. Quite a few other prominent free agents were ineligible because they were traded during the 2019 season and/or had previously received a qualifying offer.

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                        • #15
                          Multiple Teams Pursuing Zack Wheeler at Outset of Free Agency


                          By Steve Adams
                          Updated 11 Nov2019, 7:33 PM CDT

                          2:29pm: Zack Wheeler technically has another three days to accept or reject his $17.8MM qualifying offer from the Mets, but there’s never been a realistic scenario in which he takes the one-year deal. The right-hander is widely considered to be among the four best pitchers in free agency this winter — No. 3 behind Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, by many accounts — and should have little trouble cashing in on a lucrative multi-year pact. To that end, MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reports that the Angels, Padres and White Sox are among the teams that have shown early interest in Wheeler. Other clubs have surely checked in already and will continue to do so, of course.

                          Wheeler, 29, has come all the way back from a lengthy absence stemming from 2015 Tommy John surgery. He’s made 60 starts over the past two seasons and saw his fastball velocity tick up to a career-high 96.7 mph average in 2019 — the second-hardest mark of any free-agent starter on the market (behind Cole).

                          Wheeler had a rough handful of starts at the beginning of each of the past two seasons, but over his past 55 starts combined, he’s worked to a 3.47 ERA (3.27 FIP) with 9.0 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 0.82 HR/9 and a 43.1 percent ground-ball rate in 349 2/3 innings. Beyond the high-end velocity, Wheeler possesses above-average spin on his heater and curveball, and he’s excelled in terms of minimizing hard contact against him (90th percentile average exit-velocity among MLB starters, per Statcast).

                          Each of the three listed teams is a natural fit for Wheeler, though that’s true of the majority of rotation-hungry teams in the league. While the likes of Cole and Strasburg will be wholly ruled out by many clubs due to their expected $30MM+ annual salaries and over the next half decade-plus, Wheeler is quite likely someone most teams will view as affordable — even if he’s at the top end of their budget. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman quotes one team executive expressing a similar sentiment, calling Wheeler the best arm of the market’s second tier (beyond Cole and Strasburg) and adding “and everyone pretty much will believe they could afford him.”

                          Beyond the listed teams in Morosi’s report, it’d be a surprise if the Phillies, Twins, Braves, Yankees, Rangers, Nationals (if Strasburg departs), Dodgers, Blue Jays and others aren’t in play for the righty. Wheeler could draw the most widespread interest of any free agent on the market this winter and will probably be connected to a dozen or more additional teams between now and the time he finally puts pen to paper.

                          7:33pm: The Mets also remain interested in exploring a multi-year arrangement with Wheeler, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). It’s not evident how serious that possibility is — let alone whether there’s any potential for a pact to come together before Wheeler formally reaches the open market.

                          We’ve seen plenty of on-again/off-again chatter of a deal with Wheeler over recent months. When the Mets acquired Marcus Stroman, it was generally supposed that the club was going to move on from Wheeler, though the door stayed open when he wasn’t dealt over the summer. With obvious budgetary restrains and other needs, it still feels like a longshot.

                          Meanwhile, those prior trade talks also came up in reporting today. Andy Martino of SNY.tv tweets that the Mets spoke with teams right up until the deadline passed, with the Astros pushing hardest and the Yankees, Rays, and Athletics also involved.

                          That’s mostly of historical interest, though it could offer some clues for free agency. Indeed, the Houston organization is already engaged with Wheeler’s reps, per Heyman (via Twitter). The ’Stros talked shop with Jet Sports today. We can only presume that the outfit’s major free agent starter came up in conversation, among other things.

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