April 21, 2024

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Sources – Phillies and Zack Wheeler have agreed to a 3-year, $126 million extension

Sources – Phillies and Zack Wheeler have agreed to a 3-year, $126 million extension

Zack Wheeler has reached agreement on a three-year, $126 million extension with the Philadelphia Phillies, according to sources, foregoing the possibility of the ace pitcher becoming a free agent in the fall.

An announcement is expected by the Phillies on Monday.

At a salary of $42 million, Wheeler's deal is the most lucrative extension in baseball history in terms of average annual value. It is also located in the neighborhood of the richest salaries for shooters. Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander signed multi-year deals as free agents with the New York Mets averaging $43.3 million.

Wheeler, who is entering the final season of a five-year, $118 million contract, has had great success with the Phillies, a team that has dished out big money to stars in recent seasons — Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Aaron Nola, others. There was a feeling this spring that the right-hander and the team would work out another agreement.

Wheeler's deal doesn't have a formal no-trade clause, but he will soon receive what are known as 10-and-5 rights — he has more than 10 years of service time already, and once he completes his fifth season with the Phillies, he can veto any trade.

Not that the Phillies would consider trading Wheeler, who has a 3.06 ERA in his first four seasons with Philadelphia — with an adjusted ERA+ of 137 — and has 675 strikeouts in 629⅓ innings. Wheeler also led the major leagues in innings pitched (213⅓) in 2021 and won a Gold Glove Award last season.

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Early in Wheeler's tenure with Philadelphia, owner John Middleton dismissed the idea that the Phillies would ever consider trading the right-hander, saying he would not deal him for Babe Ruth or Ted Williams. The front end of the Phillies' rotation appears to be set for years to come, with Wheeler and Nola now under contract to long-term deals, and with Ranger Suarez emerging as the No. 3 starter.

Wheeler, 34, was the sixth overall pick in the draft in 2009 by the San Francisco Giants, and as he rose among the game's top prospects, he was coveted by other teams. The Giants, who made a push for the postseason in 2011, traded him to the Mets for Carlos Beltran.

Wheeler pitched five seasons with the Mets, missing the 2015 and 2016 seasons after tearing an elbow ligament and undergoing elbow reconstruction.