If the Mets trade R.A. Dickey, they intend to fill the vacant spot in the rotation with Jenrry Mejia, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.
Rubin says there is “virtually no way” Zack Wheeler will make the team out of camp and also adds, “if Wheeler does not spend the first three weeks of the season in the minors, he would be eligible for free agency after the 2018 season, rather than the Mets also controlling him for 2019.”
On Tuesday, Paul DePodesta said on SNY’s Mets Hot Stove Mejia will start in the Minor Leagues if he doesn’t make the team out of camp.
Michael Baron, MetsBlog.com:The Mets need to see what they have in Mejia. And, regardless of how he profiles in the future, Mejia needs to pitch in the role he feels most comfortable. But I often wonder how he has been affected by this fluctuating role he’s been in as well as not pitching that much over the last couple of years. I am concerned that between the injury and the lack of consistency in his development might keep Mejia from evolving into the pitcher they want him to ultimately become.
As for Wheeler, it does make sense to keep Wheeler in the Minor Leagues for the reasons Rubin mentions, especially since they need to see where Mejia is at now. Wheeler is close, but he needs more time in the Minor Leagues. He’s only logged 33 innings at Triple-A – he needs to log more innings at that level before he can be considered for the rotation.