Multiple reports Wednesday afternoon say the Phillies have signed Zack Wheeler to a huge deal to take him out of Flushing and place him in that bandbox in Philadelphia.
Those reports say the contract is for five years at a stunning $118 million. That’s a heck of a lot for a guy with a career 3.77 ERA with only three full seasons under his belt (and missing two full seasons after Tommy John surgery). No wonder the Mets were never in on him.
Wheeler hit free agency at the perfect time. He was the third best starting pitcher available, but a steep decline after the top two, Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg. So some team who couldn’t afford those two was bound to overpay for Wheeler. And an overpay this certainly is. Wheeler is good, but $118 million good? I don’t think so.
The baseball industry seems to think the Mets fail to get the most out of their players. If that is indeed true and the Phillies will be able to unlock another gear for Wheeler, then this may end up being a great deal for them. If not, then not.
In any case, Zack Wheeler’s time in a Mets uniform is over. But we will see plenty of him; after all, the Mets play the Phillies 19 times every season. So get ready for a short highlight reel the first time he visits. Emphasis on “short” — I can’t really think of many Wheeler highlights.