While noting that nothing is set in stone yet, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that the Mets are expected to call up top prospect Zack Wheeler to make his big-league debut next Friday against the Cubs at Citi Field.
Wheeler, who was acquired from the Giants in the mid-2011 deal for Carlos Beltran, ranked as a top-15 prospect coming into the season according to both Baseball America and MLB.com. He’s started 11 games at Triple-A, posting a 3.86 ERA and 59/24 K/BB ratio in 58 innings despite pitching in an extremely hitter-friendly environment in Las Vegas.
Wheeler is slated to start tonight at Triple-A, which would be his final minor-league outing before the promotion if Rubin’s sources are correct.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Giants were “sniffing around” on Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco at the recently completed Winter Meetings.
Franco, 25, would be a nice buy-low candidate for the Giants, who don’t have a reliable third baseman yet. Currently, Pablo Sandoval would get the lion’s share of starts at the hot corner. Franco was a consensus top-100 prospect going into the 2014 and ’15 seasons, but hasn’t lived up to the hype over the last two seasons. In 2017, he hit .230/.281/.409 with 24 home runs and 76 RBI in 623 plate appearances.
Moving Franco wouldn’t necessarily solve any problems for the Phillies. After signing first baseman Carlos Santana, Rhys Hoskins is expected to play in the outfield full-time. As a result, the Phillies have too many outfielders with Odubel Herrera, Nick Williams, and Aaron Altherr. Technically, the Phillies could move Santana to third base as he has experience there, but he hasn’t played the hot corner since 2014.
Franco is arbitration eligible over the next four seasons, which might be the most attractive thing about him to other teams.