Another day, another dose of injury-related news for the Mets. James Wagner of The New York Times reports that the Mets have shut down starter Zack Wheeler for the remainder of the season. Wheeler was placed on the disabled list last month with a stress reaction in his right arm. He recently tried to resume a throwing program and apparently faced a setback.
Wheeler, 27, ends his 2017 campaign with a 5.21 ERA and an 81/40 K/BB ratio over 86 1/3 innings. The right-hander will be eligible for arbitration for the second of three seasons going into the offseason.
Steven Matz underwent season-ending surgery on Wednesday. The Mets have also been without Noah Syndergaard and have dealt with injuries to other pitchers including Matt Harvey, Seth Lugo, and Jeurys Familia (who will be activated soon). It’s been a rough year.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.