SAN DIEGO — The Philadelphia Phillies and right-hander Zack Wheeler finalized their $118 million, five-year contract Monday.
Wheeler gets $21.5 million next year, $22.5 million in 2021, $26 million in 2022, $24.5 million in 2023 and $23.5 million in 2024. He agreed to the deal last Thursday subject to a successful physical.
The 29-year-old stays in the NL East after spending his first seven seasons with the New York Mets. He was 11-8 with a 3.96 ERA last season after going 12-7 with a 3.31 ERA in 2018. Wheeler missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons following Tommy John surgery.
He joins a rotation led by Aaron Nola that also includes Jake Arrieta. The Phillies may pursue another front-line starter — longtime NL East foe Stephen Strasburg, perhaps — to join a staff that has Zach Eflin, Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta.
Philadelphia spent big money last season on free-agent outfielders Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen and acquired catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Jean Segura in trades. The Phillies didn’t address starting pitching, and the staff’s struggles cost them in the second half as they faded to an 81-81 finish. Manager Gabe Kapler was fired and replaced by Joe Girardi.
Wheeler is 44-38 with a 3.77 ERA in 126 starts. He has 726 strikeouts in 749 1/3 innings.
Because Wheeler turned down the Mets’ $17.8 million qualifying offer, Philadelphia forfeits its second-highest draft pick next June, which had been No. 53 overall, and $500,000 of international signing bonus allocation for 2020-21. The Mets gain an extra pick ahead of the third round, currently No. 74 overall.