Is Zack Wheeler the answer to at least some of the Boston Red Sox’s pitching woes? If nothing else, it appears the Red Sox are interested in trying to acquire the veteran right-hander.
The Red Sox — who reportedly are in the market for starting pitching — are among the teams interested in landing Wheeler ahead of the trade deadline, according to both the New York Post’s Joel Sherman and SNY’s Andy Martino. The New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves were among the other teams Martino named as potential landing spots, making sure to note that the Mets are not reticent to trade Wheeler to their cross-town rival if they offer the best package.
This season, Wheeler is 6-6 with a 4.69 ERA but carries a 3.88 career ERA. His fastball has increased in average velocity over the last few seasons, with his heater sitting around 96 mph this season, according to FanGraphs. In 2019, he has used his fastball 58.4 percent of the time, slider 18.4 percent, curveball 10.9 percent and changeup 5.7 percent.
The 29-year-old is set to hit free agency this offseason, so he almost certainly would be a straight rental, meaning the haul the Mets would receive in return likely will be considerably less than if he had term still on his contract.
With Nathan Eovaldi set to return to the bullpen upon his return from the injured list, the Red Sox absolutely need to address their fifth starter role, which has been a mess this season. While Wheeler probably projects more like a fourth (or even third) starter, he nevertheless would bolster the Red Sox rotation.