While the White Sox haven’t been mentioned to be in the mix for the top-two free agent starting pitchers in Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, they are very much involved in the Zack Wheeler sweepstakes.
Everyone knew that Wheeler wasn’t going to accept the $17.8 million qualifying offer from the Mets. So, before the QO deadline arrived last week the White Sox were reportedly one of three teams showing the most interest in signing him in the early stages of free agency.
It’s still early in free agency, as most of the action will hopefully begin in December, but the latest report from Wednesday still has the White Sox among the favorites to get Wheeler.
MLB reporter Jon Morosi added the Twins to the Angels, Padres and White Sox as most likely destinations for the right-handed pitcher.
It’s interesting that Morosi thinks Wheeler will sign before the two big free agents and a five-year deal worth $100 million is plausible for the 29-year-old in Morosi’s opinion.
Wheeler, who made his MLB debut with the Mets in 2013, has dealt with some injuries but has responded nicely in the past two years. For his career, Wheeler has a 3.96 ERA in 126 starts. In 2019, he pitched a career high 195.1 innings and struck out a career best 195 batters.
After signing free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal the White Sox are still (obviously) expected to pursue Wheeler.