The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees both need to upgrade their starting pitching before the July 31 non-waiver MLB trade deadline, and it appears these rivals both are targeting the same New York Mets right-hander.
The New York Post’s Joel Sherman reported Thursday the Mets had “engaged” the Red Sox on a potential deal for Zack Wheeler. Andy Martino of SNY reported Thursday the Yankees also are “interested in Wheeler.”
According to one source, there is significant interest in Wheeler. A trade is not believed to be close with any one suitor, but the Mets have shifted into a more aggressive sell mode.
Wheeler would be a quality addition to a Red Sox rotation that has underwhelmed for much of the first half of the season due to the struggles of Chris Sale and Rick Porcello. The 29-year-old Wheeler has a 6-6 record with a 4.69 ERA, 130 strikeouts and a 1.28 WHIP over 119 innings (19 starts) in 2019.
The concern with Wheeler is his durability. He’s battled injuries throughout his career and made 20-plus starts in just two of his first four MLB seasons. The Red Sox would not need to make a long-term commitment to Wheeler, however, because he’ll be an unrestricted free agent after this season.
Wheeler is a great target for the Red Sox if acquiring a starter is their main goal before the trade deadline. Boston doesn’t have much to offer in terms of top prospects, though, so a bidding with the Yankees or any other team probably wouldn’t end well for the Sox.
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