By now, we’ve all pretty much learned that Zack Wheeler inked a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies for $118M throughout the next five seasons and it just became official on Monday. Brodie Van Wagenen said it was “business as usual” on Monday, the first day of the 2019 Winter Meetings which is taking place at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego this year.
While BVW declined to comment on any matters regarding Steve Cohen, the New York Mets General Manager did comment on Zack Wheeler and his signing with a division rival in the Philadelphia Phillies.
“The value for what we thought the investment [was] didn’t line up,” he said. “The projections that we had for Zack both short-term and long-term didn’t quite match up to the market he was able to enjoy.”
While I tend to agree with Brodie here, it’s evident that Joe Girardi and the Philadelphia Phillies front office see something different in their newly acquired right hander.
“You’re going to have a 1 and a 1A with him and Nola,” Girardi said. “When you look at what he’s done the last few years and really throughout his career, he’s continued to get better and better. This is a power guy with four pitches where I think he’s just starting to reach his potential. There is more in the tank there. This guy can be more dominant than he’s been.”
With the Mets now currently in the hunt for a back of the rotation starter, Van Wagenen described his ideal fit for the role being a front of the line type of pitcher that could go deeper into games while having an “elite performance”.
While it’s unlikely that the Mets can pick up such an acquisition through the Free Agent Market with around $14M to work with, he does have the ability to be creative within the Trade Market. “That’s kind of what we’re looking for,” Van Wagenen said. “Whether or not we can find that in the marketplace in fifth starters, we obviously have to see how that plays out.
“We have a lot of our quote-unquote needs already filled. It’s a matter of how we can create upgrades, whether it’s in terms of depth or whether it’s in terms of higher impact . . . We always have to try to be conscious of what resources are available.”
Also read: Free Agent Reliever options: Héctor Rondón