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Philadelphia Phillies name Zack Wheeler Opening Day starter vs. Atlanta Braves

Zack Wheeler Philadelphia Phillies contract extension press conference
Zack Wheeler Philadelphia Phillies contract extension press conference 14:01

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Philadelphia Phillies named Zack Wheeler as the team's starter for Opening Day against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, March 28 at Citizens Bank Park. 

It will be Wheeler's first Opening Day start in a Phillies uniform and end fellow starting pitcher Aaron Nola's streak of six straight Opening Day starts. 

Wheeler, who will turn 34 in May, is coming off another dominant season in Philly after the team fell short in the National League Championship Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

Earlier in March, Wheeler and the Phillies agreed to a 3-year, $126 million contract extension. Wheeler's extension gave him a $42 million annual average value, which is the highest ever by a Phillie. It's also the highest AAV ever in a contract extension.

The $42 million AAV is the fourth-highest among starters in MLB, behind Shohei Ohtani's $46 million, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, who each signed contracts with the New York Mets with a $43.3 million AAV.

Wheeler has been one of baseball's best starters since he signed a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies as a free agent in 2019.

The Phillies also locked down Nola to a seven-year contract this offseason. 

"I've really just enjoyed being here in Philly," Wheeler said after signing his contract extension. "The fans are the best. Playing in Citizens Bank (Park) in October, there's nothing like it."

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