Zack Wheeler is coming off arguably the best start of his career and one of the most dominant starts anyone in baseball has made this season.
And as he gets closer and closer to free agency, Wheeler is still open to signing an extension with the Mets. But as was the case during the offseason, it won't be at much of a discount.
"Well you know everybody's goal…everybody's number one goal is to make it to free agency," Wheeler told SNY. "You know I think that's where you really make your money and sort of set your career so. ... you know I love being here. I love being with the Mets. The fans are unbelievable and there's nowhere else better to play than New York."
As far as what it would take in terms of dollars and years, Wheeler was direct.
"But at the same time I'm this close to free agency so if they want to offer me, it's gotta be pretty close to what I'd get during free agency -- you know, just to be fair," he said. "Like I said, I love being here, I want to stay here. It's just one of those things. ... it's still up in the air and we'll see what happens down the road."
What was the key to Wheeler's success last season and his success this season after a very shaky first start? Health and consistency.
"I'd probably say 80 percent of it is physical, for me personally," he said. "I think mentally I'm always gonna be there. I'm always gonna be locked in. I'm always gonna go out there ant try to be a bulldog out there, be aggressive and get ahead, sort of own the at-bas. ... but I think the biggest part for me is just mechanically is just staying in tune from start to start, pitch to pitch, inning to inning and sort of just working off of that."
The 28-year-old Wheeler put it all together in 2018, putting a bow on his season with a second half where he displayed the same kind of dominance that was displayed by Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom.
Overall, Wheeler had a 3.31 ERA and 1.12 WHIP with 179 strikeouts in 182.1 innings (29 starts) for the Mets last season.
If the Mets don't extend him, he'll be a free agent after this season for the first time in his career.