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Wheels in motion: Ex-Giant wants to win with Mets

Wheeler wonders what might have been in SF, but is excited about outlook in New York
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Zack Wheeler admitted on Thursday that he couldn't help but wonder what it would have been like to still be a member of the Giants as he watched them win their second World Series title in three seasons last month.

Wheeler, of course, was traded from the Giants to the Mets in exchange for Carlos Beltran prior to the 2011 Trade Deadline. That said, Wheeler -- who along with teammate Vic Black on Thursday helped distribute full Thanksgiving meals to families in need across New York City -- added that watching the Giants win another title only has him more excited about the Mets' 2015 season.

NEW YORK -- Zack Wheeler admitted on Thursday that he couldn't help but wonder what it would have been like to still be a member of the Giants as he watched them win their second World Series title in three seasons last month.

Wheeler, of course, was traded from the Giants to the Mets in exchange for Carlos Beltran prior to the 2011 Trade Deadline. That said, Wheeler -- who along with teammate Vic Black on Thursday helped distribute full Thanksgiving meals to families in need across New York City -- added that watching the Giants win another title only has him more excited about the Mets' 2015 season.

Highlighted by the return of Matt Harvey, the Mets figure to boast one of the stronger starting rotations next year. In addition to Harvey and Wheeler, the Mets have this past year's National League Rookie of the Year Award winner in Jacob deGrom, as well as veterans Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Bartolo Colon all at their disposal.

"I know what's about to happen here," Wheeler said. "If you're human, you can only look at our staff and be like, 'Yeah, they're going to make it to the playoffs here soon, and get a couple of bats and be ready to go.' "

Video: Wheeler touts Mets' talented rotation on Hot Stove

Wheeler saw it happen firsthand with the Giants, who selected the right-hander with the sixth overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. San Francisco then won the World Series in 2010, while Wheeler spent his entire professional debut season with Class A Augusta.

After being traded to the Mets in 2011, Wheeler has watched the Giants capture two more titles, thanks largely to the pieces that were already in place at the time of his departure.

"I saw it happen over there -- a lot of homegrown talent, young guys coming up and stuff," Wheeler said. "They've won three World Series [in five seasons]. It sort of puts a bitter taste in my mouth, but now I want to do it over here with these guys and show them a little bit."

Now focused on the future, Wheeler is looking forward to building off of his first full big league season this past year in which he went 11-11 with a 3.54 ERA over 32 starts. And while he acknowledged that it was difficult to watch the organization that drafted him win yet another title last month, Wheeler said he's already turned his sights toward 2015.

"Obviously you look at them and you're like, 'Man, I could have won a World Series this year,'" Wheeler said. "But now it makes me want to work that much harder and do it over here with this group of guys."

With the rotation expected to be at full strength, along with a healthy David Wright and the addition of veteran outfielder Michael Cuddyer, Wheeler sees no reason that the Mets can't play into October next year.

Video: John Franco on Mets' acquisition of Michael Cuddyer

"It put something in the back of my head, personally," Wheeler said of the Giants' success. "I'm just pushing myself every day to sort of prove we can do that, too."

Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New York Mets, Zack Wheeler