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

Tanya Simon
December 6, 2019

Right-hander Zack Wheeler and the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a $118 million, five-year contract, two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Wednesday. Heyman's report came minutes after ESPN's Jeff Passan reported former Phillies ace Cole Hamels got a one-year, $18 million contract from the Atlanta Braves.

Clearly, both the Phillies, among the game's biggest spenders the past few winters, and the two-time defending NL East champion Braves are serious about reloading and challenging the Nationals - who turned a wild-card entry last fall into a World Series title - for supremacy in one of the game's most competitive divisions.

Bumgarner, 30, pitched to a 9-9 record with a 3.90 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 34 starts last season.

Among the other teams known to have been in pursuit of Wheeler were the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers.

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Wheeler, whose fastball averaged almost 97 miles per hour in 2019, was considered one of the top second-tier starters on the free-agent market behind top-end arms Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg.

He returned as a full-timer in 2018 and made 29 starts, going 12-7 with a 3.31 ERA and giving up 150 hits while registering 179 punchouts through 182 1/3 frames.

Wheeler was originally selected by the San Francisco Giants with the sixth overall pick of the 2009 MLB Draft, but never actually played a game for the Giants before being traded to the Mets for Carlos Beltran in July 2011.

The Mets were not considered among the serious suitors to retain Wheeler. CBS Sports ranked Wheeler as the seventh-best available free agent on the market this offseason.

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