September 23, 2021

Roundtable reaction: The Philadelphia Phillies agree to a five-year deal with RHP Zack Wheeler (The Athletic)

The MLB hot stove appears to be cooking with gas. On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to a reported five-year, $118 million deal with free-agent right-handed pitcher Zack Wheeler. Last season with the Mets, the 29-year-old righty went 11-8 with a 3.96 ERA, had a career-low walk rate of 2.30 per nine innings and a 4.7 WAR. As reported by Ken Rosenthal earlier this week, several teams had expressed significant interest in Wheeler, who has become the leading free-agent alternative to fellow right-handed aces Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg. Signing Wheeler does not come without risk: He had Tommy John surgery in ’15, made just 17 starts in 2017 and struggled with shoulder issues last season, but he has thrown only 749 1/3 career regular-season innings, which could bode well for his future. Wheeler was a first-round pick (sixth overall) for the San Francisco Giants in 2009 and was ranked 6th overall (fourth for pitchers) on Jim Bowden’s top free agents list this…

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