The Milwaukee Brewers are known to want to add starting pitching before the trade deadline. The New York Mets have starters available. Should the two teams come together for a deal?
The Milwaukee Brewers still need to add to their starting rotation before the end of July. Could they work out a deal for Wheeler?
How does Wheeler compare to the Mets aces?
Well, he’s certainly on the same pitching staff!
Wheeler has made 13 starts this season and owns a 4.82 ERA. He’s worked 74 2/3 innings and has racked up 72 strikeouts and 28 walks. Wheeler has also been tagged for eight homers.
Wheeler struggled through May, but has turned his season around in June. After posting a 6.43 ERA in 28 innings last month, Wheeler has rebounded with a 3.65 ERA through June 19th.
After starting Spring Training with concerns over his right arm, Wheeler has been surprisingly healthy. He missed a good chunk of the 2017 campaign after suffering a stress reaction in his right arm. He took injections of a bone growth drug into his stomach for most of the off season to stimulate bone density and strength. It’s not quite ‘Kobe-going-to-Europe’, but it sounds concerning.
The good news is that Wheeler’s velocity has returned. He’s averaging over 95 MPH on his fastball this year.
He’s not at the same level of Syndergaard or deGrom, but he’s a representative Major League starting pitcher. He also wouldn’t look out of place in the Milwaukee Brewers rotation during the stretch run.
What’s his contract look like?
2019 is Wheeler’s final year of arbitration eligibility. If the Mets are going to get a team to pay full sticker price, now is the time. An extra year of control and a solid arm for the stretch run could intrigue most GMs in need of a starter.
Is Wheeler a fit for the Brewers?
That really depends on GM David Stearns. It’s clear that Stearns is ‘all-in’ for 2018 based on the off season moves the Milwaukee Brewers made. This isn’t a team that’s rebuilding and they’re not playing like one.
If the Brewers are in on Wheeler, they won’t pay Syndergaard or deGrom prices for him. They’ll flip a few mid-level prospects for a guy in his age-28 season who still has potential to breakout. That’s worth a few of the Brewers extra prospects, but they’re not going to discuss Keston Hiura or Corbin Burnes for Wheeler. It’s likely a much lighter package that will offer an interesting prospect, but the Mets will not get a haul from the Milwaukee Brewers for Wheeler.
Wheeler is capable when he’s healthy, but he’s not a true difference maker like deGrom or Syndergaard. The Mets top two starters have missed time with injuries, but they’re fantastic when healthy. Wheeler isn’t at the same level, and the Milwaukee Brewers shouldn’t pay a premium for him. However, if they did work out a deal for Wheeler, he would be an upgrade over the current ‘fifth starter roulette’ that the Milwaukee Brewers are playing.