There was a serious doubt that the Mets would be able to sign all of the players still on the team last year. Zack Wheeler was deemed one that the Mets didn’t keep in the fold, they did give him a qualifying offer of $17.8M for this season but it was declined by Wheeler to stay with the Mets. The Phillies signed him yesterday for 5 years and $118M – which is quite a lot for a pitcher with Wheeler’s results so far. Yes, he is a good pitcher, but is he worth that much?
Last year, Wheeler was 11-8 for the Mets, with a 3.96 ERA, in 2018 he was 12-7 with a 3.31 ERA. Those numbers don’t really jump out at you with a guy who will be making over $20 million a season to pitch for you. Wheeler did give the Mets a chance to equal the offer, they passed and now he’s a Phillie.
The Mets offer was fairly generous, show us you can pitch very good or better for one more year for $17.8M, but Wheeler who is 29 could have thought that if he doesn’t accept a bigger contract and did poorly, he wouldn’t be getting a big contract at all if he had stayed with the Mets.
The Phillies passed on a chance to add Cole Hamels for 1 season at $18M, which was probably a big mistake. Why wouldn’t you bring back the former MVP of the 2008 World Series for this Phillies team, if nothing else, fans would have had a really increased interest in his starts especially at home. This was a major failure of the Phillies offseason so far.
As reported by My Top Sportsbooks, The Phillies opened the 2019 season as NL East favorites at +225 after beefing up their batting order in free agency. Their divisional odds will reflect that and are likely to open in the +375 to +450 range, behind the Nats and Braves. That would accord with the current World Series futures, where Washington (+1400) and Atlanta (+1200) are shorter than Philly (+2200).