April 13th, 2024

Zack Wheeler and Phillies reach $126 million, 3-year deal for 2025-27

By Dan Gelston, The Associated Press on March 4, 2024.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Ace Zack Wheeler and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed Monday on a $126 million, three-year contract for 2025-27, the fourth-highest average salary in baseball history at $42 million.

The Phillies scheduled an 11 a.m. EST press conference at their spring training complex in Clearwater, Florida.

Wheeler gets $23.5 million this year in the final season of a $118 million, five-year contract, one of the best free agent contracts in Phillies history.

The new deal for the 33-year-old right-hander adds yearly salaries of $42 million. He gets a hotel suite on road trips and agrees to make a $100,000 charitable contribution each year.

Wheeler’s average trails only Los Angeles Dodgers two-way star Shohei Ohtani ($70 million), Texas pitcher Max Scherzer ($43.33 million) and Houston pitcher Justin Verlander ($43.33 million), the latter two who signed their deals with the New York Mets.

ESPN first reported the value of the new contract.

Wheeler has led the NL in strikeouts and innings during his four seasons after missing time with injuries while with the Mets from 2013-19. He also leads all pitchers in wins above replacement (WAR) while with the Phillies at 19.3, per FanGraphs.

After he missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons following Tommy John surgery, Wheeler has made 90 starts the last three seasons.

An NL Cy Young Award runner-up in 2021, Wheeler also won a Gold Glove last season.

The Phillies, who reached the NL Championship Series each of the last two years, now have their top-two starters anchoring the rotation for years to come. Philadelphia signed fellow right-hander Aaron Nola to a $172 million, seven-year deal.

In 11 postseason games, Wheeler has a 2.42 ERA.

The Phillies continue to spend in their hunt for their first World Series title since 2008. Team owner John Middleton hasn’t been shy in spending money to sign free-agents such as Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Kyle Schwarber, while keep Nola, Wheeler and catcher J.T Realmuto in the fold with lucrative extensions.

Wheeler is 87-63 with a 3.45 ERA in 227 career starts that dates to his 2013 debut with the Mets.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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