White Sox News

Zack Wheeler could be phenomenal signing for White Sox

Joshua Finkelstein
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 10: Zack Wheeler #45 of the New York Mets pitches in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field on September 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 10: Zack Wheeler #45 of the New York Mets pitches in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field on September 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Chicago White Sox have expressed interest in free agent starter, Zack Wheeler

The team should definitely continue pursuing the right-hander as he could be exactly what they need to help anchor the rotation behind Lucas Giolito.

Wheeler, 29, is coming off a season in which he had an 11-8 record, 3.96 ERA, and 1.259 WHIP. His FIP over the last two seasons has been lower than his ERA, with a 3.25 FIP in 2018 3.48 FIP in 2019.

Furthermore, his walk rate in that span has also decreased, going from 4.2 BB/9 in 2017 to 2.7 BB/9 in 2018 to 2.3 BB/9 in this past season.

That trajectory along with an innings increase all the way up to 195 1/3 innings and a career-high velocity on his fastball (97 MPH according to FanGraphs) should intrigue many teams about the idea of signing him.

Need more reason for enthusiasm? Check out this article by Andrew Simon of MLB.com comparing him to Gerrit Cole.

Now, the downside to signing Wheeler, Cole, Stephen Strasburg, or Madison Bumgarner is that the White Sox would have to give up draft pick compensation to sign them.

According to Michael Mayer of MMO, the White Sox would owe the Mets a third-round pick to sign the right-hander.

In terms of contract, Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors has Wheeler netting a five-year, $100 million deal on the open market.

While both the compensation and contract might seem a little steep now, it could actually become a relative bargain if Wheeler could become anything close to Cole.

If they were to just sign the latter outright, they are looking at contract similar to the eight-year, $256 million deal Dierkes predicts he will receive this offseason. Some have even speculated that he could receive a $300 million contract.

Sure, Zack Wheeler isn’t the most enticing name on the market, but there are a lot of signs that he is bound to break out.

Five years and $100 million for Zack Wheeler would be banking on him at least maintaining his performance from last season while transitioning to the American League.

But one year from now we will be discussing the best and worst moves from the 2019 offseason.

light. Related Story. The Chicago White Sox Should Sign Yasmani Grandal

It might not be the best-looking move right now, but the buzz around the league next season could end up being how lucky the Chicago White Sox are to have Zack Wheeler at $20 million per season if they take the chance on his upward trajectory.

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