NEW YORK — Zack Wheeler could be making his last start as a New York Met later this week.
A team source told Yahoo Sports that chances are “pretty high” Wheeler won’t be a Met on August 1.
“It’s just where we’re at,” the source said. “If we played better in San Francisco [over the weekend], it might have changed everything.”
The Mets entered Tuesday in fourth place in the NL East with an underwhelming 45-54 record. They currently sit 14 games behind division-leading Atlanta.
Wheeler hasn’t started since July 7 due to a right shoulder impingement. But the 29-year-old righty, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, is expected to return on Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field.
“I mean, last year was the same way,” Wheeler said of his name being mentioned in talks with the July 31 trade deadline quickly approaching. “You try to just go out there and get a win and concentrate on that. I’m here now, so I’m not worried about that.”
Wheeler, who threw a 30-pitch simulated game on Tuesday as part of his rehab, is just 6-6 with a 4.29 ERA, having allowed 16 homers in 19 starts. But he’s also struck out 130 in 119 innings. And the starting pitching market continues to thin given the recent resurgences by both Cleveland (Trevor Bauer) and San Francisco (Madison Bumgarner).
Still, there is internal concern about what the Mets will be able to get in return for Wheeler given his recent injury.
The New York Yankees have been mentioned among the suitors for Wheeler, though the city rivals have rarely done trade business together given the running animosity between the two sides.
The Mets entered the 2019 campaign with high expectations — no one will ever forget GM Brodie Van Wagenen’s infamous line “Come get us” — but have failed to meet them, paving the way for them to be sellers.
“We don’t want to lose some of our guys,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Tuesday. “So we’re trying to do everything we can to get back into this thing and keep our team intact.”
It seems like it’s too late for that.
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