The Philadelphia Phillies have signed Zack Wheeler according to Marc Craig of The Athletic. The deal appears to be for five-years and worth $118 million. Wheeler was a hot commodity, seen by many as just under the Gerrit Cole/Stephen Strasburg tier of free agent starting pitchers.
Wheeler finished 11-8 with a 3.96 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 31 starts for the Mets last season and has had back-to-back 4 WAR seasons. The White Sox were in hot pursuit of Wheeler, but lost out to the Phillies. It appears that Wheeler’s wife, who is from New Jersey, ended up tilting the odds toward the east coast, as Ken Rosenthal reports the White Sox made a better offer.
With Jake Arrieta entering the last year on his deal and Philadelphia already shaky at the position, they were in real need for starting pitching. A Cole Hamels reunion seemed to be very much in the works but the Braves landed him first.
Wheeler is one of the youngest pitchers in free agency who has shown some consistency. He will quickly join Aaron Nola and Arrietta for a nice 1-2-3 punch, as the Phillies try to improve on their 81-81 record