Phillies' Zack Wheeler, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen trade barbs after parting ways

Right-hander Zack Wheeler had spent his entire MLB career with the Mets before he signed a $118 million free agent contract with the NL East-rival Phillies this offseason. 

Wheeler hasn't enjoyed frontline results in terms of run prevention, but his stuff, spin rate, and recent health inspired the pitching-thirsty Phils to make the nine-figure investment in him. No doubt, Wheeler's thinking is mostly on the future, but he still hasn't completely wiped from his mind the team that traded for him when he was a 21-year-old minor leaguer in the Giants system. Regard this recent comment from Wheeler: 

High-level athletes are necessarily ego-driven to some extent -- it's a job requirement in a real sense. As a consequence, those egos can be easily bruised, and it sounds like that's the case with Wheeler and the Mets. 

Because this is the Mets, though, they couldn't let a perfectly pedestrian bit of shade go by unremarked upon. GM Brodie Van Wagenen, take it away: 

This probably isn't the stinging rejoinder that Van Wagened imagined it to be while it was still penned up in his head. He at once compliments his health and performance department while dismissing Wheeler's body of work as "two good half seasons." Well, which is it?

The first rule of yelling on social media or for public consumption is "do not own thyself." Mr. Van Wagenen appears to have violated this bedrock principle. 

In any event, Wheeler is slotted in as the Phillies' No. 2 starter this season, and they'll play the Mets 19 times in 2020. That should provide plenty of opportunity for Van Wagenen to glower down upon his former charge from a luxury suite. 

Developing story? Probably not.

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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