Pitcher Zack Wheeler picks Phillies over White Sox

The right-hander agreed to a 5-year, $118 million deal with Philadelphia, despite getting a more lucrative offer from Chicago.

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Pitcher Zack Wheeler won’t be coming to the South Side. The free agent has reportedly agreed to a five-year, $118 million deal with the Phillies. The White Sox were among the teams courting him.

Pitcher Zack Wheeler won’t be coming to the South Side. The free agent has reportedly agreed to a five-year, $118 million deal with the Phillies. The White Sox were among the teams courting him.

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

PHILADELPHIA — Two people familiar with the deal say the Philadelphia Phillies and right-hander Zack Wheeler have agreed on a five-year, $118 million contract.

Both people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday because they weren’t authorized to announce the signing.

The White Sox were one of the teams pursuing Wheeler, and according to an industry source offered a slightly higher bid, $120 million for five years. But Wheeler, who has family ties in the East, considered family reasons in making his decision.

The 29-year-old Wheeler stays in the NL East after spending his first seven seasons with the New York Mets. He was 11-8 with a 3.96 ERA last season after going 12-7 with a 3.31 ERA in 2018. Wheeler missed the entire 2015-2016 seasons following Tommy John surgery.

He’ll join a rotation led by Aaron Nola that also includes Jake Arrieta. The Phillies are still likely pursuing another starter to go with Zach Eflin, Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta.

Wheeler is 44-38 with a 3.77 ERA in 126 career starts. He has 726 strikeouts in 749 1/3 innings.

Contributing: Daryl Van Schouwen

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