ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Mets plan to contend in 2019, so they prefer to hold on to starters Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Zack Wheeler. All three have been the subject of many trade rumors in recent weeks as the Mets have fallen further and further out of contention.
All three pitchers are under team control beyond this season, so the Mets are certainly under no pressure to trade any member of the trio. deGrom has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining, Syndergaard has three, and Wheeler has one.
Wheeler, understandably, was the most likely to get traded since he has the fewest remaining years of team control and is not considered ace-caliber like deGrom and Syndergaard. This season, Wheeler is 5-6 with a 4.11 ERA with 116 strikeouts and 42 walks in 120 1/3 innings. Some contending teams, including the Braves, Phillies, Yankees, and Brewers, saw him as a potential upgrade heading into the final two months of the season and he certainly could have been had at a much lower price than deGrom and Syndergaard.
deGrom shares Wheeler’s 5-6 record but has a major league-best 1.82 ERA with 164 strikeouts and 32 walks in 138 1/3 innings. Syndergaard is 6-1 with a 2.89 ERA and an 85/15 K/BB ratio in 74 2/3 innings. One can certainly understand the Mets’ impulse to try to contend with these two at minimum. Whether or not it’s the right call to attempt competing rather than rebuilding remains to be seen.
The Mets have already traded infielder Asdrubal Cabrera and sound committed to shopping catcher Devin Mesoraco and 3B/OF Jose Bautista. They may be the only other players the Mets trade ahead of tomorrow’s 4 PM ET non-waiver trade deadline.