Spring Training 2024: Pitching depth is the key to the Phillies success. They hope to get Zack Wheeler to sign a long-term deal.

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies have spoken to Zack Wheeler’s representation about a new contract as the pitcher heads into the final season of a $118 million, five-year deal.

Wheeler said last week he prefers reaching an agreement before the season starts March 28.

“Zack would not mislead you. Of course, we’ve talked,” president of operations Dave Dombrowski said Monday. “It is a priority. We would love to get that deal done.”

A 33-year-old right-hander, Wheeler has a $23.6 million salary this season. He was 13-6 with a 3.61 ERA last year and 1.08 WHIP. His 2.42 ERA in the postseason is sixth-best among pitchers with 10 or more starts.

“He’s a guy we would love to have in our organization for a long time,” Dombrowski said.

Philadelphia agreed in November with pitcher Aaron Nola on a $172 million, seven-year contract.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb