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Phillies, Zack Wheeler agree to three-year, $126 million extension

Scott Lauber, Alex Coffey, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Baseball

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Within a three-day span, Zack Wheeler celebrated the birth of his third child and finalized a nine-figure contract extension with the Phillies.

How’s that for an epic week?

“It was definitely busy,” Wheeler said Monday in a news conference to announce a three-year deal that’s worth $126 million, according to financial terms confirmed to The Inquirer. “It’s just been a great week for me, a great week for my family. I just couldn’t be happier.”

Wheeler agreed to the extension on Feb. 24, three days before his wife, Dominique, gave birth to their daughter, Winter. He finalized the deal Saturday after taking a physical and wanted to hold off on the announcement until Monday in order to tell his teammates.

The new contract begins next season and will keep Wheeler and Aaron Nola together atop the Phillies’ starting rotation through 2027, when Wheeler will be 37. The Phillies re-signed Nola as a free agent in November to a seven-year, $172 million contact. Wheeler could have been a free agent after this season.

Instead, Wheeler will receive the highest annual salary — $42 million — in Phillies history and the fourth-largest ever for a starting pitcher, trailing Shohei Ohtani ($70 million) and Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, both of whom make $43.3 million per year.

 

Wheeler didn’t ask for an opt-out and won’t receive a no-trade clause, but when he completes this season, he will have 10 years in the majors and five with the Phillies, a combination that would enable him to veto a trade — not that the team has any notion of moving him.

In fact, owner John Middleton said he can’t imagine the roster without Wheeler.

“Who are you going to pitch?” Middleton said. “Even if [top prospect] Andrew Painter were [eventually] the MVP of the league and a Cy Young winner, you still want Zack Wheeler on the mound. That doesn’t change.”

As president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski put it, “Zack is one of the best pitchers in the game of baseball. I don’t think I could think of another individual I’d rather have take the ball in a big game than Zack.”

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©2024 The Philadelphia Inquirer, LLC. Visit at inquirer.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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