2. Zack Wheeler
The Yankees showed some interest in Zack Wheeler ahead of this year’s trade deadline, but the Mets elected to hang on to the talented right hander. That decision will pressure the Mets to keep him away from the Bronx when free agency arrives.
That may prove to be a difficult task for New York’s National League franchise. They certainly have the money to keep Wheeler, but it’s hard to imagine them outbidding the Yankees if Cashman really sees Wheeler as a top-end starter.
When you watch Wheeler run his fastball up to the plate at close to 100 miles per hour it’s easy to convince yourself that he has ace stuff. His 4.71 ERA on the season doesn’t back that opinion up, but it’s worth noting that his FIP is a much more palatable 3.65. His ability to strike out hitters at a prodigious clip will make him a very attractive target for the Yankees in free agency.
Wheeler is making just under $6 million this year, which means he’ll be looking to hit it big on the open market. He’s one player on this list who will almost certainly sign with the highest bidder. Again, if the Yankees want to make him their big pitching acquisition of the offseason, they have a great chance to land him.