Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told reporters Thursday that he has no plans on trading Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, or Steven Matz. However, it appears that another one of their young guns is on the table in the right deal.
According to Andy Martino and Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News, the Mets have discussed right-hander Zack Wheeler in trade talks this month. Wheeler, of course, had Tommy John surgery in March and will likely be out until around midseason next year, but he’s just 25 years old and is under team control through 2019.
The Reds (who are known to be shopping Jay Bruce, among others) are one of the teams who inquired on Wheeler, though nothing is going on with them currently and Martino and Ackert are hearing that the Mets “remain unlikely to move him.” It’s unclear how the dynamic has changed after Friday’s deal for Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, but the Mets could use another outfielder. Wheeler is an interesting case given that he’s not going to pitch again for a while, but he has the potential to bring back a valuable piece.
The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.
Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.
The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.
The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.