Phillies' Zack Wheeler's $126M Extension: Ranking in MLB History

Phillies make a historic commitment to ace Zack Wheeler.

by Nouman Rasool
Phillies' Zack Wheeler's $126M Extension: Ranking in MLB History
© Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

In a bold move that has set the baseball world abuzz, the Philadelphia Phillies have officially announced the completion of Zack Wheeler's contract extension, a staggering three-year deal valued at $126 million. This monumental agreement marks a significant moment in Major League Baseball (MLB), reflecting both the Phillies' commitment to their ace pitcher and Wheeler's unparalleled value to the team.

Zack Wheeler, at 34, has chosen to extend his tenure with the Phillies, bypassing the opportunity to test free agency in 2025—a year anticipated to be ripe with star-studded talent. While not the highest in MLB history in terms of total value—a record held by Mookie Betts with his $365 million extension—Wheeler's deal is nonetheless historic, particularly when considering the context of his age and the timing of this extension.

Wheeler's AAV Milestone

It's noteworthy that Wheeler's deal sets a new benchmark for average annual value (AAV) in MLB extensions. No other extension has surpassed the $42 million AAV that Wheeler will receive from the Phillies.

This places Wheeler's contract as the fourth highest in MLB history in terms of AAV, trailing only behind the likes of Shohei Ohtani, Max Scherzer, and Justin Verlander. Ohtani recently set a new record with a $70 million AAV, while Scherzer and Verlander each secured deals worth $43.33 million, previously the highest in the league.

Wheeler's exceptional performance on the mound has undoubtedly contributed to this landmark agreement. As one of baseball's premier pitchers, he has consistently demonstrated his worth to the Phillies. With this extension, Wheeler is set to remain a pivotal figure for the team through his age 37 season, solidifying his legacy and ensuring the Phillies' competitive edge.

This historic extension not only underscores Wheeler's significant impact on the field but also highlights the evolving dynamics of player contracts in MLB. As teams and players navigate the complexities of contract negotiations, Wheeler's deal will likely serve as a significant reference point for future agreements, especially for veteran players of his caliber.

The Phillies' investment in Wheeler is a testament to their faith in his abilities and their commitment to maintaining a top-tier pitching rotation. As the MLB landscape continues to shift, the Zack Wheeler extension will undoubtedly be remembered as a defining moment in the sport's contractual history.