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Phillies and Cole Hamels avoid arbitration with $15 million deal

Jan 17, 2012, 12:23 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

Cole Hamels is entering his final season of arbitration eligibility and the 28-year-old left-hander will avoid a hearing by agreeing to a one-year, $15 million deal with the Phillies.

Hamels earned $9.5 million last season as part of a three-year, $20.5 million deal that bought out his early arbitration eligibility and would have been in line for a big raise after going throwing 216 innings with a 2.79 ERA and 194/44 K/BB ratio.

Last month at the winter meetings general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told our own Craig Calcaterra that the Phillies want to keep Hamels in Philadelphia long term, but with a $100 million contract likely just 30 healthy starts away it’ll be tough to stop him from hitting the open market next winter as a rare 28-year-old free agent ace.

  1. deathmonkey41 - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    I think he would look good in the pinstripes.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      Yes, he looks great in those red pinstripes.

      • phillieschamps2012 - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:32 PM

        Just like Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels doesn’t want to pitch in that cesspool of a city to the north.

      • phukyouk - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:34 PM

        Yup.. ‘Cepts.. no question

      • Alex K - Jan 17, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        He’d look better in blue pinstripes.

      • skerney - Jan 18, 2012 at 3:32 AM

        Whats the over/undert on phillieschampts2012 lasting on HBT til opening day? Does he get himself 86edt againt?

  2. phillieschamps2012 - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    “…it’ll be tough to stop him from hitting the open market next winter as a rare 28-year-old ace free agent.”

    This is not going to happen. Every time Hamels name is brought up, the air of him leaving is always brought up by writers, like the Phillies can’t or won’t resign him. Ridiculous. I guarantee that Hamels is signed to a long-term deal during Spring Training or during the early point of of the season by the Phillies. I’m guessing 6 years at an AAV of 22.5 million.

    • lardin - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:01 PM

      Except if your Cole, you know the Yankees, Sox, Rangers, and Angels will all top that right? Cliff Lee is the exception not the rule, most players take the most money. However if the Phillies want to give him 6 150 million he probably would forgoe free agency. But your gonna have to offer him 25 million a year. He will get at least that as a free agent.

      • phillieschamps2012 - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:12 PM

        Your logic is flawed. No team will give Cole Hamels 25 million a year. Cole is a very good pitcher. But, the guy has never sniffed close to 20 wins in a season and has never won a CY Young award. That stuff shouldn’t matter, but it kind of does when talking contract figures. Cole has not yet established himself on the same level as a Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee or CC Sabathia.

        No team will give Cole Hamels 6/150 million. If you think that they would, I have some real estate on Fantasy Island that I would like to sell you.

      • nategearhart - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:56 PM

        phillieschamps2012: I’ll bet you ANYTHING that no baseball team will factor pitcher wins into their calculation of Hamel’s worth.

      • paperlions - Jan 17, 2012 at 3:11 PM

        Cliff Lee DID take the most money. He took the highest AAV, not the highest total value; the Phillies just offered fewer years. When you add whatever Cliff earns on his next contract to this one; he will make far more money overall.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:16 PM

        I’ll always insist that using AAV in this instance to declare a player took the most money is flawed, because at the end of the day, the player will pocket whatever he is paid in a particular year and for however many years the contract is signed for, he’s not being paid in “AAV” dollars.

        AAV is misleading because his salary is heavily back-loaded and as you are fond of saying, dollars now are worth more than dollars later. I’m sure Cliff Lee could have had more money NOW, invested it and produce MORE money in the long run accepting a Yankees contract that gave him the big bucks immediately than accepting the Phillies contract that guaranteed him less money for less years and back-loaded to boot. He’s taking a calculated risk that he will stay healthy and will not miss that extra money for that extra guaranteed year and he will get it back when he comes up for FA.

        There are many nuances to that deal, and lots of angles including Cliff Lee’s desire to play in Philadelphia being an overriding concern. Your use of AAV to come to a “slam dunk” conclusion that he took the most money I find a less than honest discussion of the particulars of the Cliff Lee deal.

    • danrizzle - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:10 PM

      Well, that settles it I guess. If the guarantee of phillieschamps2012 isn’t good enough for you, I don’t know what is.

  3. Jonny 5 - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    NEXT!!!! Next up Hunter Pence.

    • phillieschamps2012 - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      Hunter Pence will be interviewed at 5:20PM today on 94.1 WIP.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:12 PM

        Thanks for the info.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:05 PM

      I wonder if Pence’s signing motion is completely awkward, but nonetheless effective?

    • uyf1950 - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:18 PM

      Jonnny 5 – I predict $11MM +/- for Pence.

      • Jonny 5 - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:37 PM

        I predict that you sir are right on the money. If you’re off it’s by no more than .2 either way.

    • Utley's Hair - Jan 17, 2012 at 5:29 PM

      Good paycheck…let’s eat!!!!!

    • uyf1950 - Jan 17, 2012 at 9:24 PM

      Jonny 5 – It looks like no agreement with Pence yet. He asked for: $11.8MM was Offered: $9MM. I guess you guys will just have to wait and see if he settles somewhere in the middle at: $10.4MM or it goes to the arbitrator.

  4. uyf1950 - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Regardless of what color pinstripes Hamels will look good in. The fact that he re-signed or settled for a 1 year deal with the Phillies should raise some concern among the Phillies Ownership/Management and Fans.

    When or IF he hits FA at the end of the 2012 season even if the Phillies are able to re-sign him which becomes less of a certainty they will have a lot more competition for his services which mean a higher price to retain him.

    • The Baseball Gods - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      The Phillies management was focusing on the one year deal before working on the long-term contract. There is no doubt in my mind that they will re-sign Hamels before he hits free agency. They wouldn’t let their home-grown stud walk after signing a significantly older Lee to a long-term deal last offseason. They will most likely give him something along the lines of a 5 year $99 million extension.

      • lardin - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:03 PM

        You think Cole will sign an extension worth less than 20 million per year? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Especially when you know the Yankees or who ever else will offer him CC Money or at least 25 million per year for 6-7 years.

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      • uyf1950 - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:05 PM

        Not to rain on your parade. But if 5 years/$99MM is the best they do, say goodbye to Cole Hamles. In my very humble opinion it’s going to take 6 years/$132MM minimum (after this extension) to re-sign him.

        And while he has expressed a desire to stay in Philadelphia he has shown no inclination to give the Phillies a “hometown” discount. Nor should he when he has seen what the Phillies have paid for both in years and dollars for the likes of: Lee/Howard/Papelbon and Halladay.

      • ame123 - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:09 PM

        Yankees can’t afford Hamels, they are under orders to get under the luxury tax

      • uyf1950 - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:11 PM

        ame – believe me they can afford him and still get under the $189MM luxury tax threshold for the 2014 season.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:41 PM

        Not to rain on your parade. But if 5 years/$99MM is the best they do, say goodbye to Cole Hamles. In my very humble opinion it’s going to take 6 years/$132MM minimum (after this extension) to re-sign him.

        I’m not worried at all. Considering Amaro’s track record and philosophy, it’s safe to say Ruben will pay through the nose to keep Hamels in Philadelphia (semi-tongue in cheek)

      • uyf1950 - Jan 17, 2012 at 2:11 PM

        Francisco – You might want to at least allow for say a 5% chance that Hamels might not re-sign with the Phillies after this season.

        By my calculation the Phillies have in committed salaries for the 2013 season for just 6 players (Halladay, Howard, Utley, Lee, Papelbon and Rollins) about $105MM +/-. Pence will be a 4th year arbitration eligible player at the end of the 2012 season and probably make about $13MM for the 2013 season. That would make the Phillies payroll for just 7 players about $118MM +/-.

        Add arguably $22MM to re-sign Hamels that would bring their anticipated 2013 payroll for just 8 players to about $140MM +/-. Just to put that in perspective the Yankees have in guaranteed salaries for 8 players for the 2013 season $150MM +/- and that figure includes team options for Cano and Granderson which one could contend are not guaranteed. Although I have no doubt Cano’s option for sure would be exercised. And considering the difference in the revenue streams of the 2 clubs the $140MM projected for the Phillies would appear disproportionately high. But that’s just my opinion.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:20 PM

        Oh sure, Actually the % may be higher than 5, I actually give it 1 chance in 3. My remark was more aimed at Ruben possibly breaking the bank (Hah!) and making the Phillies’ future “murky at best”.

  5. badmamainphilliesjamas - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    There are incentives in the deal . . . an extra $250,000 for winning the Cy Young, and $50,000 for winning the Silver Slugger award.

  6. phillieschamps2012 - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    The Phillies are working the printing presses in the basement of Citizen’s Bank Park, printing more money. The just wrote a 15 million dollar check today to Mr. Hamels and will soon write a 10+ million dollar check to Mr. Pence.

    The Phillies, throwing cash around like a boss!

  7. kingjoe1 - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    I think he wants to pitch his tent in a state which allows gay marriage.

    • CJ - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      you know he’s married right? I’m guessing not. Cuz if you knew that, you’d probably know who he’s married to, or at least seen a picture. And if you had, there’s no way you’d say something so stupid.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      Not sure what’s worse, the gay joke or the fact that two people gave you a thumbs up =\

    • lif3form - Jan 17, 2012 at 5:27 PM

      That might get you play over at Deadspin, but fortunately, knee-jerk homophobia doesn’t really fly here at HBT.

  8. mikedi33 - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Philly. Com was saying the phils were willing to pay Lee/Holliday money for Cole but they would not do a CC contract 7 years with an opt out.

    • lardin - Jan 17, 2012 at 2:01 PM

      If thats the case hes leaving the Phillies. The Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Rangers, and Angels will all offer him at least 6 years 25 million

    • greymares - Jan 17, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      philly.com also said there is no way Andy Reid would be back.

  9. chadjones27 - Jan 17, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Why is no one considering The Nationals? They’ve shown a willingness to want to toss money around. Although this all speculation right now, since it’ll be a couple years before Hamels has to possibility for free agency.

  10. henryd3rd - Jan 17, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    phillieschamps2012 – Jan 17, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Just like Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels doesn’t want to pitch in that cesspool of a city to the north.

    Why do you people rag on Boston like that?

    • henryd3rd - Jan 17, 2012 at 3:13 PM

      Oh you were referring to NYC. New York, New York 10001! The Big Apple? Damn Mets can’t get a break!

  11. spudchukar - Jan 17, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Signing Hamels to a long-term deal will put the Phillies in luxury tax purgatory.

    • ame123 - Jan 17, 2012 at 3:04 PM

      actually it would not.

      • henryd3rd - Jan 17, 2012 at 3:16 PM

        No matter! If that’s what it takes to bring a World Championship ti Phillie who cares? Plus last time I looked that stadium was sold out, big television contract and loyal fan base that has been supporting this team for decades so what if they get into “luxury tax territory”. Its worth it!

      • chadjones27 - Jan 17, 2012 at 4:35 PM

        the fan base may have been supporting them for decades, but they haven’t been showing up to the park until aroun 2007/2008 when they started winning. The Vet was kind of empty for a good majority of the mid to late 90’s. They didn’t start selling out the park till after their W.S.
        Teams don’t make money from a loyal fan base watching games at home.

  12. greymares - Jan 17, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    there is a better chance Halliday and Lee are gone before Hammels

  13. uyf1950 - Jan 17, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    In addition to the $15MM here are Hamels incentives:

    Hamels also gets 100 grand for MVP, 250 grand for cy young, 100 WS MVP, 50 grand lcs mvp, gold glove, silver slugger, A-S

  14. loungefly74 - Jan 17, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    great move by the phils keeping their rotation strong.

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