Zack Wheeler Rumors: FA Expected to Land 5-Year Contract in Excess of $100M

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured Columnist

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Pitcher Zack Wheeler #45 of the New York Mets in action against the Los Angeles Dodgers during of a game at Citi Field on September 15, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Coming off the best season of his career, Zack Wheeler is reportedly going to cash in when he signs with a team this winter.  

Per The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, Wheeler is expected to receive a five-year deal worth more than $100 million in free agency. 

Rosenthal added the Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins, Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays are among the teams going after Wheeler. 

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

Still alive for Wheeler, per sources: #Phillies, #Reds, #WhiteSox. Possible other teams remain in mix; #Angels also have shown real interest. Phillies’ push first reported by @Buster_ESPN.

There is a robust pitching market for teams to choose from this offseason. Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg are at the top of the class and could both receive deals in excess of $30 million per season.

Wheeler is an excellent alternative for clubs that need a starter who can pitch at the top of the rotation and won't cost as much as the top-tier stars. The 29-year-old set career highs in 2019 with 195.1 innings pitched and 4.7 FanGraphs wins above replacement for the New York Mets.

Injuries were a major problem for Wheeler early in his career. He missed all of 2015 and 2016 because of Tommy John surgery and an elbow strain. The Georgia native has remained healthy in each of the past two seasons, making a combined 60 starts. 

There's still going to be risk for a team giving Wheeler five years because of those past arm issues and he turns 30 in May. The upside is good enough to make him worth the investment for a club that believes it's ready to compete for a championship.