With the Milwaukee Brewers missing out on the top starting pitchers at the July Trade Deadline, they are reportedly still looking to add during the August trade period.
One of the top pitchers expected to be on the market in July was Zack Wheeler of the New York Mets. Wheeler, along with teammate Jacob deGrom, were supposed to be the top starting pitchers traded this July. But the Mets decided to keep all of their starters and stand pat.
But now that we’re in August, it’s much harder to get a deal done, although it’s not impossible. According to Jon Heyman, the Milwaukee Brewers are showing interest in Zack Wheeler.
While Wheeler’s status on waivers isn’t officially known, it’s possible that he cleared waivers already. That would mean the Mets can trade Wheeler to any other team for the rest of this month.
By the way Heyman phrased that tweet, it would lead you to believe that Wheeler has gone through waivers without being claimed. If the Milwaukee Brewers and multiple other teams are calling the Mets to show interest, he has to have already cleared. Otherwise there’s no reason to call.
How Is Zack Wheeler Pitching?
He’s been phenomenal of late. Wheeler just pitched seven strong innings, allowing only two runs against the Marlins. In his two previous starts before that, he didn’t allow a single run, covering 13 total innings.
His ERA has dropped down to 3.82, and his 3.40 FIP shows that he’s been better than his ERA might indicate.
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Wheeler has gone 7+ innings in four of his last five starts and has gone at least six innings in nine of his last 10 outings. Getting a pitcher that can consistently go deep into games is something the Milwaukee Brewers desperately need.
What Could Wheeler Cost?
Wheeler is controllable through next season. The Mets believe that Wheeler is an ascending pitcher who is finally reaching his potential as an ace and would like to be compensated accordingly. Other teams didn’t want to do that back in July, and would rather pay for the performance he’s put up.
But now with his continued dominance since the July deadline, and the increasing desire for a starting pitcher for contending teams, the Mets are more likely to see their price met.
On the other hand, every day they wait to trade him, the less they could potentially get back. No, he is not a rental, but trading him now versus the end of the month could have a big impact on what the actual return for Wheeler is.
The Milwaukee Brewers have the ability to pay for Wheeler. But the question hasn’t been if the Brewers can pay it, it’s whether they will want to pay it. David Stearns has shown an unwillingness to budge much from his set price in the past, and won’t want to overpay. But sometimes it takes an overpay to get the trade that’s necessary to improve the club.
David Stearns will likely be looking to add to his rotation this August. Zack Wheeler is the biggest name that could get moved in the next couple weeks.