Yankees Rumors: Speculation surrounds pair of Mets pitchers
The Yankees rumor mill is working overtime, as Joel Sherman suggests that the Yanks could be interested in Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler, should the Mets make them available.
Following J.A. Happ’s fifth-inning implosion on Thursday night, which included four walks, five hits and four earned runs in total, raising his season ERA to 4.66, the Yankees need for reliable starting pitching became that much more apparent.
Although the usually astute Adam Ottavino was saddled with the loss after allowing a walk and two hits (one was a home run), relying on the bullpen to hold the line almost every night is unfair.
Therefore, fans across the Twittersphere are clamoring for general manager Brian Cashman to acquire a pitcher that can stop the bleeding in time for Luis Severino to return sometime after the All-Star break. And even then, no one knows how effective Sevy will be the rest of the way.
Names like Madison Bumgarner, Marcus Stroman and Matthew Boyd have recently been linked to the Yanks, but here are two new ones (at least for this season), Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler.
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On a recent episode of the Baseball Tonight Podcast with Buster Olney, Joel Sherman of the New York Post spoke about the two crosstown right-handers and if there were any possibility of them wearing navy blue pinstripes.
"“If Zack Wheeler were to become available,” Sherman said. “If the Mets fell out of this. Or if (Noah) Syndergaard—who they tried to get in the offseason in a three-way trade when the Mets were trying to get (J.T.) Realmuto—became available, I almost wonder if the stuff and what happens with the stuff as far as ground balls, strikeouts, I almost wonder if they do it.”"
Wheeler, 29, is set to hit free agency at the end of this season, so it’s understandable that the Mets would be willing to deal him (once they officially fall out of playoff race).
After a career-year in 2018, Wheeler looks to have settled in as a nice mid-rotation piece. Though his 4.87 ERA through 14 starts is pedestrian, he boasts a stellar 10.0 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and 1.286 WHIP across 88.2 innings.
A groundball pitcher by trade, Wheeler is inducing grounders 44.4 percent of the time, stranding runners at a rate of 65.1 and holding left-handed hitters to a .233 BAA.
His 13 home runs allowed, league-high 48 earned runs, 8.9 H/9 and .313 BABIP are the real concern.
As for Syndergaard, whom Sherman describes the Yankees as “coveting” a pitcher with his makeup (high velocity, strikeouts, groundballs and signed through 2021), ‘Thor’ would likely cost as much, if not more than soon-to-be 35-year-old Max Scherzer.
Unless the Yanks put together an impressive package of players headlined by Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar and then some, Wheeler may present a more feasible opportunity for far lesser assets.