And there you have it folks: former New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler has agreed to terms on a five-year $118 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, first reported by Marc Carig of The Athletic.
The Phillies have reached an agreement with Zack Wheeler, sources tell @TheAthletic. The ex-Met stays in the NL East, and close to New Jersey, where Wheeler’s wife is from.
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) December 4, 2019
The deal gives Philadelphia a formidable starter to go along with ace Aaron Nola, and gritty veteran Jake Arrieta (who is entering the final year of his deal).
Personally, I am not a huge fan of the deal. The 29-year-old Wheeler is a good pitcher when healthy, but not so much so that I’d be willing to fork over that amount of dough.
I’m no general manager, but if I were to give a starting pitcher a lot of money, I would give it to someone who has consistently gotten better throughout their career, stayed healthy, and, most of all, given their team a chance to win (guys like Max Scherzer and David Price come to mind).
This contract reminds me of the one the Boston Red Sox gave Nathan Eovaldi last offseason. Both hard-throwing righties with nasty stuff and an injury history.
Now, I think Wheeler is better overall and more likely to hold up, but that’s why he got $118 million compared to Eovaldi’s $68 million. There is more to like when it comes to the former Met, and that’s why more than just the Phils were inclined to give Wheeler a big contract.
#WhiteSox’s offer to Wheeler was for MORE than the $118M he will receive from the #Phillies, sources tell The Athletic. As @MarcCarig said, Wheeler’s wife is from New Jersey, and that proximity was an important consideration in his decision.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 4, 2019
I may not like the deal, but at the same time, I can’t really blame the Phillies for going out and snatching Wheeler. After signing Bryce Harper to that massive deal last offseason, Philly failed to make the postseason. That prompted ownership to fire manager Gabe Kapler, bring in former New York Yankees skipper Joe Girardi, and, most likely, go out and sign Wheeler.
That may make it seem like a panic move, but Phillies owner John Middleton doesn’t want another disappointing season. The last time the Phils won more than 81 games was 2011, which was nearly 10 years ago. Wheeler could help change that fact next season if he 1: stays healthy, and 2: pitches like he is capable of.
-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)
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