We are in the home stretch of the MLB trade deadline and the Braves have made a couple of moves without having to dip into their impressive farm system at all. Both of the acquisitions of Jonny Venters and Brad Brach required only international bonus monies to bring into the fold, so they still have plenty of prospect capital to work with if they want to.
The Mets, on the other hand, are struggling just to make it through this season and appear to be sellers to some extent. Despite the fact that they are somewhat delusional in that they feel strongly that they will be competitive next year which does impact how much they will actually sell, the team has been making some moves including sending Asdrubal Cabrera out of town.
While Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom are the biggest names teams could want, the Mets have been floating Zack Wheeler as available. Wheeler has struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness in his career, but he is long on talent and has been better recently. He currently sports a 4.11 ERA and 3.57 FIP in 2018 which is good for 2.3 fWAR. There are a number of teams interested in him, including the Atlanta Braves.
Phillies, Braves, Brewers and Yankees are among teams to have shown the most interest in Zack Wheeler. 2 division rivals, the ny rival and milw. In any case, no one has met the asking price. If nothing changes, may well stay in queens.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 30, 2018
The second part of Heyman’s report is the most relevant here as the Mets’ asking price for Wheeler is quite high. Wheeler is under team control through next season and has been better lately, but his track record is sketchy at best. It is entirely possible that the Mets just hold on to him because of what their perceived value of Wheeler is versus the rest of the league’s perception.
It is also worth mentioning that the level of the Braves’ interest here is not mentioned and a deal with a division rival is always going to be tough from the start. It is possible that Atlanta being mentioned is a way to drive the price for Wheeler up even if the Braves have no interest in actually acquiring him even though they have been widely considered to be looking for more pitching.