Published: Fri, December 06, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Wheeler, Phillies agree to $118M, 5-year deal

Wheeler, Phillies agree to $118M, 5-year deal

The free-agent righty agreed to a deal with the NL East rival Phillies on Wednesday, The Post's Joel Sherman confirmed. The Phillies, under new manager Joe Girardi, needed help in their rotation, especially with Jake Arrieta entering the final season of his contract with the team. Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets that even after the Braves signed Cole Hamels to a one-year, $18MM deal earlier today, they're still not completely out of the Bumgarner bidding.

Wheeler was originally selected by the San Francisco Giants with the sixth overall pick of the 2009 MLB Draft, but never actually played a game for the Giants before being traded to the Mets for Carlos Beltran in July 2011.

For his career, Wheeler has a 3.77 ERA in 126 stars with 726 strikeouts compared to just 270 walks.

On to the next tier of free agent starting pitchers for the White Sox, who are not involved in a pursuit of either Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg.

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According to ESPN, the 29-year-old pitcher rejected a larger contract offer from the Chicago White Sox worth more than $120 million before reaching an agreement with Philadelphia.

He returned as a full-timer in 2018 and made 29 starts, going 12-7 with a 3.31 ERA and giving up 150 hits while registering 179 punchouts through 182 1/3 frames. His average fastball velocity (91.4 mph) and strikeout rate (8.8 K/9, 24.1 percent) are both down a bit from peak levels, but Bumgarner still displayed impeccable command (1.9 BB/9) this past season and topped 30 starts for the first time since his injuring his shoulder in 2017's dirt-bike debacle.

The Mets were not considered among the serious suitors to retain Wheeler.

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