Philadelphia Phillies are making a splash in free agency for a second offseason in a row. After bringing in Bryce Harper on a record deal last offseason, Phillies now agreed to a deal with pitcher Zack Wheeler.
According to ESPN, Wheeler agreed to a five-year, $118 million contract with Phillies on Wednesday. The 29-year-old was among the most sought-after free agents available and has reportedly chosen Philadelphia despite having more lucrative offers on the table.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that Wheeler, who spent his entire MLB career with New York Mets, rejected an offer from Chicago White Sox that was in the range of $120 million.
Zack Wheeler was drafted sixth overall in 2009 by San Francisco Giants in 2009, but failed to make a single MLB appearance for the franchise before being traded to the Mets in 2011. Wheeler showed early promise in New York, but his career was derailed by a Tommy John surgery in 2015.
Wheeler’s best performances came in the last two seasons, combining 60 starts and posting a 23-15 record. He had a 3.65 ERA and added 374 strikeouts.
Phillies were in a search for a starting pitcher after a disappointing 2019 MLB season, but they couldn’t compete for the like of top coveted free agent pitchers Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg. In Wheeler they got a reliable starter for the future, considering Jake Arrieta is entering the final year of his contract next season.