Phillies officially welcome RHP Wheeler

Field Level Media

December 09, 2019 at 5:52 pm.

Zack Wheeler officially joined the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.

Wheeler reportedly signed a five-year deal worth $118 million, leaving the New York Mets for their National League East rivals and leaving more money on the table on what was termed a “similar” five-year offer from the Chicago White Sox.

Wheeler, 29, posted a record of 11-8 and a 3.96 ERA in 31 starts for the Mets in 2019. The Phillies trumpeted the move in a team release on Monday, pointing to Wheeler’s increased velocity — a career-best 96.8 mph average fastball last season, fourth among all major league starters in 2019 behind only Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard (97.8 mph), Astros ace Gerrit Cole (97.1 mph) and Mets righty Jacob deGrom (96.9 mph).

Wheeler was 44-38 with a 3.77 ERA and 726 strikeouts in 126 starts over five seasons with New York (2013-14, 2017-19). He missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons due to arm injuries.

Last season, he completed the seventh inning of a start 29 times.

He was drafted in the first round (sixth overall) out of high school by the San Francisco Giants in 2009. The Giants traded him to the Mets in 2011 for outfielder Carlos Beltran and cash.

With the Mets, Wheeler was 5-3 with a 3.30 ERA in 15 starts against the Phillies.

Philadelphia ranked 11th in the National League in team ERA (4.53) and eighth in strikeouts (1,392) during the 2019 campaign.