The Philadelphia Phillies entered the 2023-2024 offseason with major short-term and long-term questions about their starting rotation.  Aaron Nola was a free agent and no guarantee to return to Philadelphia.  Zack Wheeler had one year remaining on his contract.  But it appears that after re-signing Nola, the Phillies have kept another hole from opening in their starting rotation.

Matt Gelb of the Athletic reports that the deal is for three years and $126 million.  Olney followed that up by reporting that this is the highest average annual value for a contract extension in baseball history.

That number, with an average annual value of $42 million per season, puts Wheeler just behind Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, both of whom signed their deals with the New York Mets.  Of course, should Shohei Ohtani pitch (he will not in 2024), he would be ahead of Wheeler on the salary list, too.

Wheeler is 33 years old, turning 34 in May.  Therefore, the deal will take him through his age 37 season.

Wheeler signed a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies prior to the 2020 season.  The contract has turned out to be one of the bigger free agent bargains in recent baseball history.   Wheeler has paired with Nola to give the Phillies one of the more reliable 1-2 punches in Major League Baseball.

And now they will continue for three more years.

Jason Kelce Through the Years

More From 97.3 ESPN