The Phillies have made their first major move.  On the heels of former Phillies ace Cole Hamels signing with the Atlanta Braves, the Phillies have made a pitching move of their own.  It was the one rumored earlier in the day.

Zack Wheeler:

The deal was expected to be north of $100 million according to earlier reports. Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that the deal will be for five years:

The Phillies are just getting started in their offseason plans; the team was expected to land at least two starting pitchers this offseason.  With Wheeler in the fold, the Phillies might look to add a left-handed pitcher.  Both Madison Bumgarner and Dallas Keuchel are free agent options.

The Phillies were interested in Wheeler at the 2018 trade deadline.  At the time, Wheeler was coming off injury and showing signs of a rebound.  Since then he has been stellar.  Wheeler gave the Mets 195 1/3 innings last season after 182 in 2018.  The Phillies need such reliability in their rotation.

While Wheeler had his injury woes in the past - he missed all of 2015 and 2016 with "Tommy John" surgery, and part of 2017 with elbow tendonitis - he appears to be in good health.  Wheeler had a very short injured list stint in 2019 with "shoulder fatigue".  The time missed has limited the stress on his arm.

Wheeler turns 30 next season. Lifetime he is 44-38 with a 3.77 earned run average.

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