The Mets aren’t promoting prospect Zack Wheeler for a spot start because the organization would feel pressure to extend his stint in the big leagues, says ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin:
Essentially, team brass internally resolved, New York couldn’t handle a spot start from Wheeler and return to Triple-A.
If the outing was too successful filling in for Niese, the pressure would have been overwhelming to keep Wheeler in the major league rotation. So the organization decided to bypass the potential agita and instead give Collin McHugh the assignment.
The 23-year-old Wheeler, rated the #11 overall prospect by Baseball America entering the season, has a 4.13 ERA in 52.1 innings. The Mets snagged Wheeler from the Giants in the Carlos Beltran trade in July 2011.
Mets manager Terry Collins said, “If Zack comes, we hope that he stays here for the rest of his time.”
Free agent outfielder Peter Bourjos is heading back to the Angels on a minor league deal, per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors. The agreement includes an invitation to spring training, but has not yet been officially confirmed by the team.
Bourjos, 31, played out a one-year gig with the Braves in 2018 and slashed .205/.239/.364 with four extra-base hits and a .603 OPS through a career-low 47 plate appearances. He showed more promise during a short-lived stint with the Giants’ Triple-A squad in the second half of the season, but elected free agency in early November and had yet to catch on with another major league club. His deal with the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts, as he played some of the best years of his career in Anaheim from 2010 to 2013 before getting traded to the Cardinals in a multiplayer swap for David Freese and Fernando Salas in 2014.
The veteran outfielder is long past his prime, but could still bring some value to the team as outfield depth behind Justin Upton, Mike Trout, and Kole Calhoun. Per Adams, he’s expected to compete for a spot as the Angels’ fourth outfielder, though he also has limited experience at DH as well.