HomeOther Philly SportsPhillies Nation reports talks of extension between Zack Wheeler and Phillies

Phillies Nation reports talks of extension between Zack Wheeler and Phillies

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Zack Wheeler is under contract through 2024. (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Zack Wheeler’s five-year, $118 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies will go down as one of the best free agent signings in MLB history.

One hundred and eighteen million dollars seemed like a lot for a pitcher getting paid based off of projections and not past performance, but the Phillies’ big bet in December 2019 has paid off tremendously. Wheeler has pitched to a 3.06 ERA over his first four seasons in Philadelphia and is the anchor to one of the better starting rotations in the sport. He has a 2.42 ERA across 63 1/3 postseason innings for the Phillies.

Wheeler, once unproven, is now a Phillies postseason legend and one of the best starting pitchers in baseball. When the time comes, he will be one of a handful of current Phillies inducted onto the team’s Wall of Fame.

With 2024 being the final season of the five-year deal, the Phillies have interest in extending Wheeler, who will be entering his age 34 season.

Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that the Phillies have discussed an extension with Wheeler’s camp, but “no offer has been made, but one is expected at some point.”

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski spoke about the team’s interest in retaining Wheeler following the Aaron Nola press conference last week.

“We’d like to keep him in the organization for a lengthy period of time,” Dombrowski said. “But it’s not always easy. It’s something that I’m sure we’ll pursue at some point. I’m not sure, at this point, how important it is for them.”

Wheeler, assuming he remains healthy in 2024, will likely sign another contract that exceeds $100 million.

The Phillies stretched out deals for Nola, Bryce Harper and Trea Turner in order to keep the yearly luxury tax hit below $27 million. The approach could be different with Wheeler, who is nearing his mid 30s. As Zolecki mentions in his story, a shorter term, higher AAV deal for Wheeler is good for both sides.

If the Phillies retain Wheeler, he will almost certainly become the first player in team history to make over $30 million a year on an annual basis.

It’s going to take a big offer from the Phillies to persuade Wheeler to pass on a second trip through free agency.

Next year’s class of free agent top starting pitchers is stacked. If the Phillies do not extend Wheeler, he could hit the market alongside Corbin Burnes, Max Fried, Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole, who could opt out of the remaining four years, $114 million left on his contract with the New York Yankees. If Cole exercises the opt out, the Yankees can void it by adding another season to the end of the deal at $36 million.

Wheeler’s first deal came with injury risk and performance uncertainty. Wheeler’s second deal comes with a different variation of those same risks. He has stayed relatively healthy throughout the deal, but injury risk increases for any player as he ages and that’s especially true for a pitcher that throws in the high 90s and has previously undergone Tommy John surgery.

The Phillies know they have an ace in Wheeler right now, but it’s fair to wonder how many peak years are left in his arm.

Considering that the Phillies have interest in getting a deal done now rather than waiting and dabbling in next year’s loaded market, it’s evident that the Phillies have high hopes for Wheeler’s longevity.

MORE FROM PHILLIES NATION

  1. John Middleton: ‘I Want Bryce Harper To Always Wear A Phillies Uniform’
  2. Here’s How Much The Braves And Dodgers Were Willing To Offer Aaron Nola
  3. Revealed: Full Contract Details/Incentives For Aaron Nola
  4. Amid Yamamoto Rumors, Dombrowski Says 2024 Rotation Is Set
  5. After Re-Signing Aaron Nola, Could Phillies Look To Extend Zack Wheeler?
  6. Aaron Nola Is Back, But Believes Zack Wheeler Should Start On Opening Day 2024
  7. Phillies, Aaron Nola Agree To Long-Term Contract
  8. Phillies Don’t Appear To Be Serious Contenders for Josh Hader
  9. Phillies, Bryce Harper Reportedly ‘Expected To Discuss Potential Extension’
  10. Have The Phillies Worn Their Red Jerseys For The Final Time?






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