Phillies’ Zack Wheeler makes MLB history with 3-year contract extension


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Philadelphia Phillies veteran starter Zack Wheeler didn’t wait till subsequent yr’s free company interval to money in on a brand new contract. 

Wheeler is staying within the Metropolis of Brotherly Love after inking a three-year deal price $126 million, which kicks in through the 2025 season

Wheeler is ready to make $23.5 million for the 2024 marketing campaign.

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Zack Wheeler of the Philadelphia Phillies has signed a three-year deal price $126 million. (Carmen Mandato/Getty Photographs/File)

The 33-year-old, who pitched to a 3.61 ERA final season, defined why he took a short-term take care of the Phillies as he seems forward to life after baseball.

“I do take pleasure in pitching and I need to be right here,” Wheeler mentioned throughout a information convention on Monday on the Phillies’ spring residence, BayCare Ballpark. “I like competing. However I don’t need to play till I’m old-old. And I need to be round my household. However I’m undoubtedly having fun with the second right here, having fun with each second I take the mound. It’s particular, and never all people will get to do it. Not all people will get to do it so long as I’ve. I’m grateful for that.”

Wheeler’s $42 million per yr that he’ll earn beginning subsequent season is the most important contract extension in MLB historical past.

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In comparison with different veteran pitchers in MLB, Wheeler’s price ticket in 2025 is the third-highest common annual worth for a pitcher, with Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander forward of him. It is usually the fourth-highest of any participant in MLB, the highest spot going to Los Angeles Dodgers Japanese famous person Shohei Ohtani after he signed a $700 million contract this offseason. 

Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski defined the Wheeler extension from the front-office perspective. 

Zack Wheeler’s deal is the most important contract extension in MLB historical past. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

“We mentioned, ‘Properly, let’s set up proper now he’s the most effective pitchers in baseball,'” he defined. “Is he first, second, third? We don’t must get into that. However he’s one of many finest. And the fact is, whenever you begin not solely speaking about being the most effective pitchers, he’s the most effective big-game pitchers within the sport of baseball. So, within the postseason, when he takes that ball, I can’t consider anyone that I’d reasonably must take the mound than Zack.”

Since he joined the Phillies in 2020, Wheeler has began 10 video games and made a aid look within the 2023 NLCS in opposition to the Arizona Diamondbacks final yr, proudly owning a 2.42 ERA over these outings. The one time he’s struggled within the postseason was the 2020 World Sequence in opposition to the Houston Astros, the place he had a 5.32 ERA over 10.1 innings in two begins. 

Regardless of the Phillies’ loss to the D-Backs final season, Wheeler had a 1.84 ERA over 14.2 innings, giving up 9 hits and three earned runs with 17 strikeouts to 2 walks. 

Within the common season, Wheeler eats innings for the Phillies, which is nice to protect the bullpen. He had 192 innings final season, hanging out 212 hitters to only 39 walks over 32 begins. 

His solely All-Star look additionally got here in Philly in 2021, when he had a league-leading 213.1 innings over 32 begins, proudly owning a 2.78 ERA with 247 strikeouts. He completed second in Cy Younger voting that yr, dropping the award to Milwaukee Brewers starter Corbin Burnes. 

Zack Wheeler

Zack Wheeler of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in opposition to the Arizona Diamondbacks through the first inning in Sport 5 of the NLCS on Oct. 21, 2023, in Phoenix. (Norm Corridor/Getty Photographs)

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With a swing-and-miss arsenal that features a high-90s fastball and tight-breaking slider, the Phillies lock up Wheeler for years to come back as they attempt to maintain their championship window open.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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