Zack Wheeler has earned his next payday as he agrees to 3-year, $126 million contract extension.See terms and conditions 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Zack Wheeler has earned his next payday. The Philadelphia Phillies and Wheeler agreed to a three-year contract extension Monday.

A source confirmed to CBS Philadelphia’s Don Bell that Wheeler’s deal is for $126 million.

“I’ve really just enjoyed being here in Philly,” Wheeler said. “The fans are the best. Playing in Citizens Bank (Park) in October, there’s nothing like it.”

Wheeler’s contract extension will give him a $42 million annual average value, which is the highest-ever by a Phillie. It’s also the highest AAV ever in a contract extension.

The $42 million AAV is the fourth-highest among starters in MLB, behind Shohei Ohtani’s $46 million, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, who each signed contracts with the New York Mets with a $43.3 million AAV.

Scherzer and Verlander have since both been traded to Texas and Houston, respectively.

Wheeling and dealing

Wheeler, who will turn 34 in May, has been one of baseball’s best starters he signed a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies as a free agent in 2019.

The righty has the best Wins Above Replacement (WAR) among starters in baseball since joining the Phils in 2019, according to Baseball-Reference.

“Let’s establish right now, he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball,” Phillies president Dave Dombrowski said. “Is he first, second, third? We don’t have to get into that. But he’s one of the best. And the reality is, when you start not only talking about being one of the best pitchers, he’s one of the best big-game pitchers in the game of baseball. In the postseason when he takes that ball, I can’t think of anybody I’d rather have take the ball than Zack.”

According to FanGraphs’ WAR to Dollars formula, Wheeler has outperformed his contract by $36.1 million – the popular baseball statistics website calculates Wheeler as having earned $154.1 million in four seasons with the Phillies.

On Feb. 14, Wheeler told reporters he took less money to sign in Philadelphia in 2019 and wants to be paid “what I feel like I’ve earned.”

“I want to be paid on how I’ve done, what they expect out of me,” he said. “It’s not all about the money to me. I took less to come here and be in a good spot, be happy.”

In four seasons with the Phillies, Wheeler has earned Cy Young votes in three of them – he was the runner-up in 2021 to Corbin Burnes.

Last season, Wheeler finished sixth in National League Cy Young Award voting after posting a 3.61 ERA in 192.0 innings. He also won his first Gold Glove.Wheeler came to the Phillies with an injury history, but he’s been able to change the script. He’s been a reliable starter and an innings-eater. He’s thrown the fourth-most innings in MLB since 2020 with 629⅓ – Aaron Nola is third with 650⅔ innings.

While his velocity has dipped over the last couple of seasons, Wheeler has adjusted to use more offspeed pitches to maintain the edge.

In the playoffs, Wheeler has elevated to another level over the past two postseasons – he has a 2.42 ERA in 63⅓ playoff innings since 2022.

With Wheeler locked up and Nola signed for the next seven seasons, the Phillies have the top of their rotation set for the foreseeable future, with top pitching prospect Andrew Painter lurking in 2025. Painter is recovering from Tommy John surgery.


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