Injured New York Mets righthander Zack Wheeler personally called general manager Sandy Alderson on Friday asking to stay with the team while his name circulated in multiple trade rumors, reports NJ Advance Media’s Mike Vorkunov.
The Mets nearly completed a deal with the Brewers for Carlos Gomez—now with the Houston Astros after a trade with the Mets collapsed on Wednesday night—that would have sent Wheeler and Wilmer Flores to Milwaukee. Wheeler's name was also attached to rumors of a potential trade for Reds rightfielder Jay Bruce.
Wheeler, 25, has been working his way back from Tommy John surgery he had in late March and has not pitched for the Mets since Sept. 25, 2014.
“Feels good to be a part of the Mets still,” Wheeler told reporters on Thursday. “I want to be a part of what’s going on here with the Mets. I know I won’t be back till next year but I guarantee you I'll be back a better pitcher and healthy.”
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said that while it was still a business—particularly around the trade deadline—he was struck by Wheeler’s sincerity.
“[It] actually had quite an impact,” Alderson said. “Really expressed his desire to remain a Mets, his excitement for being part of the organization and being part of what is happening here. Acknowledged it was a business but at the same time wanted to express his feelings to me. I can’t say it was dispositive of what took place because I acknowledged back to him yes it’s a business.
“Again, if you go back to Wednesday and even this conversation, we’re talking about human beings. We all develop an attachment to each other and whatever capacity we serve so it’s hard. Anyway, I appreciated the fact Zack reached out.”
Over his two major-league seasons with the Mets, Wheeler holds an 18–16 record over 49 starts with a 3.50 ERA, 271 strikeouts and 125 walks.
- Mike Fiammetta