After last night’s loss to our’s truly, the Mets are 37-46 on the season, in 4th place of the NL East, and 6 games behind the 2nd Wild Card in the National League. While I don’t think they’re to the selling point that the aforementioned teams (Blue Jays, Orioles, Tigers, Royals, Mariners, Marlins, Giants, Reds) were when I wrote the 3-part piece, if the Braves sweep this series, it could mean the end of their manager and their 2019 hopes. And what does that mean for the Braves? Unlike most of the other teams discussed, I think the Mets will be a bit conservative at the trade deadline, only selling those guys they know they’ll likely lose to free agency in 2020. It’d be a pretty bad look for their shiny new GM, Brodie Van Wagenen, to go all-in on an offseason then turn around and sell off the assets just acquired and others already in house and under control. So here’s my best educated guess on the players the Mets would be willing to trade inside the division:
Let’s break each one of those down. No, let’s not! Ok, let’s do it anyway.
Frazier? Got several 3B…don’t need another.
Lagares… one of the worst players in the league.
Vargas? Looks like a strung out Prado and threatens beatwriters.
Avilan? Had it. Traded it. Don’t need it.
Gomez? GOMEZ??!! Now that would be entertaining, but no.
Zack Wheeler. Hmmm…yeah, that could work. Sure!
Evaluating Zack Wheeler’s Value
Whether your evaluating via Baseball Reference or Fangraphs, when it comes to a player that may not be playing up to their potential, I think it’s best to use Fangraphs to help determine the value of said player, especially when it comes to pitching as it essentially shows the numbers that should be, not the numbers that are. At this point in the season, according to Fangraphs, Wheeler is boasting a 2.2 fWAR with a projected 4.3 fWAR. Using 9MM/WAR, and factoring in the ~2.8MM Wheeler would cost for the rest of 2019, Wheeler’s surplus value would be right around 17MM if acquired today.
So, what would a package for Zack Wheeler cost in inner-division rival? I think it goes without saying that it would have to exceed the other packages, and exceed what the Mets could get if he were offered a qualifying offer. So, my best guess would be that it would take a FV50 rated prospect and those are William Contreras, Touki Toussaint, Joey Wentz, Kyle Muller, Kolby Allard, and Bryse Wilson. However, the Mets could go a different route and seek an MLB player (or players) in return to help return them to glory in 2020. Or there’s another route of which they could gamble on and that would be to grab 2 FV40-45 picks that are close to MLB ready.
3 Trade Scenarios for Zack Wheeler
- Ender Inciarte for Zack Wheeler: Lagares has a 500K buyout for 2020 and there’s no chance that they will pick his option up. Ender becomes their CF for the rest of 2019 and through 2022 providing them a good core to go with Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto.
- Wilson Contreras for Zack Wheeler: I’ll be honest, I don’t like this trade. However, I feel as though Shea Langeliers might have just made Contreras expendable. This is one of those trades where, if made, Braves fans will be begging for an extension to justify the cost.
- Travis Demeritte and Patrick Weigel for Zack Wheeler: A sell-high and a buy-low are in this package and this one is more risky for the Mets, but could come with a huge payoff should both players reach their ceilings.
Thoughts on the trades? Thoughts on acquiring Zack Wheeler? Let’s hear them!
Long live, Braves Journal!