No. 2: Zack Wheeler
When the Phillies signed Zack Wheeler during the 2019-20 offseason, he had already established the fact that he could be a potential front-end-of-the-rotation starter at the time. Whether he could take it to another level to become an ace of a pitching staff was yet to be seen. After all, he posted a respectable 44-38 record with a 3.77 ERA and 1.29 WHIP during his previous five-year tenure with the Mets.
However, ever since joining the Phillies' starting rotation at the turn of the decade, Wheeler has proven to be one of the top pitchers in the game, clearly making himself a co-ace alongside long-time favorite Aaron Nola in the process. In his four years with the Phillies so far, Wheeler has put up a stellar 43-25 winning record with a 3.06 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, with 675 strikeouts in just 629 1/3 innings pitched, including finishing as the runner-up for the NL Cy Young award in 2021.
More importantly, Wheeler has come up huge for the Phillies in the biggest games in the postseason as he has a combined 4-3 record with a 2.42 ERA and 0.73 WHIP with 68 strikeouts in 63 1/3 innings of work for his career in the playoffs.
For a contract that has been worth only $23.6 million AAV per season, Wheeler’s outstanding performance has made him one of the best value free agent deals in all of baseball. With only one year remaining on his contract, the Phillies should do their best to keep their ace starter beyond 2024 to fully solidify their rotation for now and in the near future.