The New York Mets already have a starting lineup comprised of Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard, so pitcher Zack Wheeler is often seen as big ticket player. However, assistant general manager John Ricco reportedly said that the Mets are not "actively shopping" Wheeler. Instead, they are willing to listen if they are presented with an attractive offer.
Ricco put an end to rumors suggesting that the Mets are trying to move Wheeler to a deal during the GM meetings last week. "We're not actively shopping Zack by any stretch. But as with the other starters, if something came up that we thought made us better, we're going to talk about it," Ricco told Newsday's Marc Carig. "He's an asset that should intrigue people or interest people, and clearly he does, for good reason, there's not enough talent in the game. So yeah, he's marked up, he's got a scar from Tommy John, but that shouldn't scare you off," the assistant GM added.
Mets fans may already know that the team almost traded Wheeler to the Milwaukee Brewers this summer. The deal, which ultimately failed, was intended to trade the right-hander along with infielder Wilmer Flores to Milwaukee in exchange for center fielder Carlos Gomez.
The 25-year-old Wheeler has just recovered from a Tommy John surgery. He made 32 starts last season and recorded a 3.54 ERA with 187 strikeouts, all in 185.1 innings. He was acquired by New York from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Carlos Beltran about four years go. If his situation goes well, he is expected to return to the majors around mid-season.
Meanwhile, free agent Ben Zobrist have his share of suitors this offseason and those reportedly include the New York Mets. The team's interest in Zobrist is likely linked to the fact that the player's versatility would allow them to add depth at second base as well as in the outfield. New York is reported among the teams that has formally contacted Alan Nero, Zobrist's agent.
The possible move to acquire the second baseman comes at a time when the Mets are expecting to lose Daniel Murphy. The infielder rejected New York's $15.8 million qualifying offer last week. FanSided described Zobrist as a worthy replacement for Murphy as the former can give the Mets insurance at third base, shortstop, and even the corner outfield spots.