The New York Mets, who are expected to sell at the trade deadline, are discussing starter Zack Wheeler with multiple teams, including the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, sources told Andy Martino of SNY.
No trade with either team is imminent, Martino reports. Talks with the Red Sox specifically are still in the early stages, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
The crosstown rival Mets and Yankees rarely trade with one another. Since the Mets' founding in 1962, the two teams have completed just 14 transactions. Their last player-for-player trade came in 2004, according to Baseball-Reference. However, a report earlier this month suggested the Mets would not be averse to sending Wheeler to the Bronx.
The first-place Yankees could use additional starting depth, both thanks to injuries and inconsistency from the likes of J.A. Happ and CC Sabathia. Domingo German is the only Yankees starter with a WHIP below 1.10.
Although their leaky bullpen might be a greater cause for concern, the Red Sox could use an additional solid starter to complement David Price, who's been their lone consistent rotation arm in 2019. Both Chris Sale and Rick Porcello have struggled at times, while the No. 5 slot has been a guessing game ever since Nathan Eovaldi went down with an elbow injury.
Earlier Monday, Boston was reportedly pushing to add a starter given that Eovaldi will be moved to the bullpen once he returns from the injured list.
Wheeler, a pending free agent, owns a 4.69 ERA, 3.65 FIP, and 1.28 WHIP while allowing 1.2 home runs per nine innings over 19 starts this year. But the 29-year-old has been solid despite the high ERA, as he ranks among the top 20 starters in WAR (2.6) and is averaging a career-best 9.8 strikeouts per nine. He's earning $5.975 million this year.
The Mets appear to be shifting into sell mode after stumbling into July with a rocky finish to the first half. After going 3-7 over their final 10 games before the break, the Mets now own the second-worst record in the National League and sit closer to the last-place Miami Marlins than the first-place Atlanta Braves.