June 19, 2021

Zack Wheeler joins Phillies on five-year deal worth $118 million (ESPN)


Right-hander Zack Wheeler and the Philadelphia Phillies are in agreement on a five-year, $118 million contract, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Wheeler turned down a larger offer from the Chicago White Sox that was in excess of $120 million, sources told Passan.

Wheeler, 29, was considered the prize of the free-agency class for teams in search of starting pitching that didn’t want to compete in stratospheric bidding for Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg.

The Phillies, who have a new manager, Joe Girardi, needed rotation help, and Jake Arrieta is entering the final year of his contract with the club.

Wheeler’s name has come up at the trade deadline for the past few years, but the New York Mets held on to him, and the right-hander started to fulfill some of the promise that surrounded him before Tommy John surgery derailed his career in 2015.

He has made 60 starts over the past two seasons, going 23-15 with a 3.65 ERA with 374 strikeouts in 377⅔ innings.

In 2018, he bounced back with 29 starts and had career bests in wins (12) and ERA (3.31). Playing on a one-year, $5.975 million deal in 2019, Wheeler slipped to 11 wins and a 3.96 ERA but had a career-high 195 strikeouts and ranked…

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