4) Zack Wheeler, RHP, New York Mets
Zack Wheeler is the final realistic top-tier option that will likely be available this summer. Though the New York Mets did not plan on moving off of some of their guys at this trade deadline, their recent dysfunction, and standing in the National League playoff race, suggests they may have no choice but to.
Wheeler is someone that Milwaukee Brewers fans will have familiarity with. Milwaukee nearly acquired him at the trade deadline back in the summer of 2015 as the headliner of the nixed Carlos Gomez trade.
Wheeler has been really good so far in 2019 after finally putting it all together last season. Wheeler has pitched 114 innings in 18 starts so far this season, an average of 6 1/3 innings per start. He’s averaging a career best K/9 rate of 9.71 while walking a career low 2.53 batters per nine. His ERA sits at a 4.42, but his his FIP (3.62), DRA (3.13) and WAR (2.5) suggest he’s been much better than that. That’s a really encouraging sign for a pitcher who posted career bests in WAR (4.2) and ERA (3.32) just one season ago.
The only thing that prevents Wheeler from being higher on this list is the fact that he’ll enter free agency this coming fall. Wheeler would be the classic one year rental for a team looking to make a stretch run.
That said, Wheeler may be the best pitcher out of the four players to appear on this list. He’s pitching like the elite starter he was projected to be several years ago.