The New York Mets entered the 2019 season as one of the most intriguing teams in baseball, and they will conclude the season as the Mets.
The latest turn in a disappointing season in Queens is that Zack Wheeler is going on the Injured List (shoulder fatigue), eliminating one likely trade chip the Mets had on their hands.
If you’re reading with only the interest of the Twins in mind, then we should note that one potential trade candidate is now crossed off the list — in all likelihood. Do you want to trade for a pending free agent starting pitcher with shoulder fatigue?
After a high-velocity winter makeover, the Mets had postseason aspirations and had people around baseball talking. But a summer of disappointment almost certainly will end in the Mets as sellers, or at least as non-contenders. New York is 14.5 games out of the N.L. East lead, and technically six games out in the wild card race, although that’s a crowded field. (Only the Marlins have a worse record in the National League.)
The Twins, meanwhile, could look to add a pitcher — starter or reliever or both — and while not formally tied to Wheeler on the rumor mill, any loss of “supply” without a change in demand will inevitably impact the trade market.
The additional impact in Minnesota is that the Mets are in town for a 2-game series. Wheeler had been scheduled to start Tuesday. Instead, Steven Matz will move up one day to take Wheeler’s turn, and Wednesday’s starter has not yet been decided, according to a report from the New York Post.
Wheeler, 29, can file for free agency this winter. He has a 4.69 ERA in 119 innings with the Mets this season, including 130 strikeouts and 34 walks.