No. 2 San Francisco Giants Loss: SP Zack Wheeler
2019 Stats: 7 GS, 2-2, 4.64 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 47 K, 42.2 IP, .244 BAA
2019 WAR: 0.4
Step 1: Trade top prospect Zack Wheeler to the New York Mets for rental slugger Carlos Beltran to solidify the lineup for a playoff push.
Step 2: Fail to make the playoffs.
Step 3: Regret.
Beltran did his part with a .323/.369/.551 line and 20 extra-base hits in 179 plate appearances following the trades. However, the Giants finished eight games back in the NL West and four games back in the wild-card standings to miss the postseason.
Wheeler was just 21 years old and two years removed from going No. 6 overall in the 2009 draft at the time of the trade, and it would be two more years before he made his MLB debut on June 18, 2013.
After posting an excellent 3.50 ERA in 49 starts his first two seasons in the majors, he missed all of 2015 and 2016 recovering from Tommy John surgery and was not the same pitcher when he returned for an injury-plagued 2017 season.
Finally healthy once again last year, he went 12-7 with a 3.31 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 179 strikeouts in 182.1 innings, including a pristine 1.68 ERA in 11 starts after the All-Star break.
He’s throwing the ball well again this year with a 3.11 FIP to back his 4.64 ERA, and he figures to be one of the most sought after arms on the 2019-20 free-agent market.