Report: Blue Jays pursuing free agent pitcher Zack Wheeler

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The Toronto Blue Jays are among the teams pursuing free agent pitcher Zack Wheeler, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

Rosenthal reports that the Jays, along with the Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, Cincinnati Reds and the Texas Rangers, are chasing the 29-year-old, who has received at least one offer worth $100 million and is expected to land a five-year deal topping that sum.

Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi and Ben Nicholson-Smith have previously reported that the Blue Jays have some interest in Wheeler, and the club is looking to add two starters to its rotation.

Wheeler was offered and declined a qualifying offer from the New York Mets, meaning any other team that signs him must surrender a draft pick. The placement of that pick varies by team, but for the Blue Jays it would be their second-highest, approximately 45th overall.

The Blue Jays are mindful of that cost, but GM Ross Atkins said at last month’s GM Meetings: “It’s not something that’s going to get in the way of us acquiring talent.”

Wheeler, a five-year MLB veteran, had an 11-8 record with a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts across 195.1 innings last season.

He has compiled a 44-38 record with a 3.77 ERA over the course of his career, all with the Mets.

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