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Olney: Cole Hamels unlikely to give the Phillies a discount

Mar 5, 2012, 1:08 PM EDT

Cole Hamels Reuters

ESPN’s Buster Olney chimes in on a popular topic around Philadelphia these days:

Some of you suggesting Hamels will take a hometown discount. IMO, little chance that will happen. Santana money (about $120m) or he’s gone.

Which sounds about right, except for the fact that Santana money isn’t about $120 million. Six pitchers in big-league history have signed $100 million contracts:

CC Sabathia – seven years, $161 million
Johan Santana – six years, $137.5 million
Barry Zito – seven years, $126 million
Mike Hampton – eight years, $121 million
Cliff Lee – five years, $120 million
Kevin Brown – seven years, $105 million

(Technically, you could add Sabathia to the list a second time, if you want to include his new extension with the Yankees that replaced the old deal.)

Hamels, a free agent-to-be, is poised to become the seventh, assuming that he stays healthy for another year. He’ll be 29 next winter and he’s one of the game’s top 10 pitchers, so it’s entirely possible he’ll be in line for right around $140 million over seven years. Olney sees the Dodgers as strong suitors, and just because the Yankees and Red Sox are thinking about luxury-tax ramifications doesn’t mean they can be counted out. Elite pitching talents aren’t available every winter.

  1. jason1214 - Mar 5, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Pony up the Brinks truck, Philly. If you don’t some team will.

  2. drmonkeyarmy - Mar 5, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    I don’t think the Phillies care about luxury tax implications in future years. I really don’t. The money doled out to elite talent will be more than compensated for with the massive TV deal that they will sign before the 2015 season.

    • seanmk - Mar 5, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      if a team like the yankees is trying to get under the luxery tax, what makes you think the phillies who are tried to avoid the previous version of the luxery tax, will all of a sudden changes their stripes?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Mar 5, 2012 at 4:04 PM

        The fact that they are desperately trying to get under this season so they can go over next season without having the escalating penalties. I mean, think what you want but I don’t think that they are going to let their elite homegrown pitcher walk over a few million dollars…particularly with the looming massive TV deal in the not to distant future. This version of the Phillies will do whatever it takes to be successful. Furthermore, yes RAJ babbles on and on about budgets and whatnot but never seems to adhere to it. It is more a guideline.

      • purnellmeagrejr - Mar 6, 2012 at 9:16 AM

        Can anyone imagine going to their boss and asking for a huge contract based on the spectacular failures of others receiving similar contracts? e.g. Boss… Barrry Zito, Mike Hampton and Kevin Brown both got 15 plus million a year, so I should also.”

  3. uyf1950 - Mar 5, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    I think a lot of the Yankees interest in either Hamels or Cain if they hit FA depends on how Pineda, Nova and Hughes perform this season. If one or more struggle I can see the Yankees trying to sign Hamels OR Cain.

    • Ari Collins - Mar 5, 2012 at 2:48 PM

      Cain would, IMO, be a poor match, as an extreme fly ball right-hander in NYS.

      Agree with your overall point, though.

      • uyf1950 - Mar 5, 2012 at 4:41 PM

        Perhaps if you look at this overlay link. I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as you might think. Now granted it doesn’t take everything into consideration. But it does give you an idea.

      • Kevin S. - Mar 5, 2012 at 11:02 PM

        Depends on whether or not he can take whatever HR/FB suppressing abilities Rags imparts upon his pitchers with him (and no, it’s not just AT&T park).

  4. marshmallowsnake - Mar 5, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    I do not see how the Phillies can keep any good future free agents with the outrageous way salaries are going these days. Pretty soon, everyone who hits free agency will be making 15 mil per season.

  5. stabonerichard - Mar 5, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    …which means Roy Halladay would make less than two other guys in the same rotation for a couple years. Pretty wacky.

  6. mdpickles - Mar 5, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Rueben: “Cole, if you take 20 million less than market value, we’ll have our ‘friends’ at Comcast contact you to do another Xfinity commerical and appearances for another 50 million. Sound good?”

  7. Jonny 5 - Mar 5, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Who cares what Olney says? Let’s hear what Hamels has to say.

    • Ari Collins - Mar 5, 2012 at 2:50 PM

      Unless he’s an idiot, players are always going to publicly say they want to stay. I’d rather listen to someone with an inside source.

      • ame123 - Mar 5, 2012 at 2:58 PM

        “IMO” is not an inside source

      • Ari Collins - Mar 5, 2012 at 3:16 PM

        You know what… fair point. I withdraw my support for Olney’s “analysis.” But it’s still silly to take anything a player says publicly about wanting to stay at face value. It’s utterly meaningless.

      • Jonny 5 - Mar 5, 2012 at 3:46 PM

        Not when you’re a Phills fan and in the not so distant past you remember guys like Rolen and Schilling were basically begging to be traded to another team. Let alone becoming a FA and walking. Meaningless? Not in the least bit.
        IF Hamels doesn’t care where he goes as long as it’s “paid well” he will become a FA no matter what the Phills offer and we’ll see how that goes. If he takes a reasonable offer before then I’d say it’s safe to say he wanted to remain.

      • uyf1950 - Mar 5, 2012 at 5:28 PM

        Jonny 5 – I get the impression Hamles would very much like to stay in Philly. But, what I don’t think he will do is settle for say 5 yrs/$$100 to $110MM. If another team is willing to give him 6 yrs/$$142MM. Something along that line in a difference is pretty significant. Even though most would consider a Phillies offer of 5/$100MM plus “reasonable”.

        There will be more than 1 team willing to go 6 years and over $23MM per, in my opinion.

      • Jonny 5 - Mar 5, 2012 at 6:17 PM

        You may be right uyf. As fans, all we can do is hope. And I’m going to hope we get to keep our guy until I find out differently. Just know this uyf, if he goes to the Yankees he’ll be dead to me. Dead I SAY! :)

      • uyf1950 - Mar 5, 2012 at 6:29 PM

        Jonny 5 – I really don’t think that’s where he’ll wind up. I think the Yankees rotation is going to be something special over the next couple of years with all the young talent they have. And especially if Pineda and Nova live up to expectations (and Hughes can work out his issues this year).

  8. cmutimmah - Mar 5, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    I’m sure he does want to stay, as long as they want to pay him…

  9. chaseutley - Mar 5, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    Zito, Hampton, Brown….. I love Cole and definitely want him to stay in Philly, but from a return on investment standpoint, that list kind of scares you. Doesn’t it?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 5, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      Brown was infinitely better than those other two, and what bit him is the problem with giving long term deals to over 30 pitchers. In fact, he was probably one of the most durable pitchers before the ’01 injury hit. He was also incredibly underrated, and should have received more than one shot on the HoF ballot.

    • jason1214 - Mar 5, 2012 at 10:26 PM

      I’m not even a Phillies fan and it scares me. Deals of longer than 5 years for a bat, 4 for a pitcher are just not good investments IMO. Injuries, age make most of them losers on the back end. Didn’t Pat Gillick once say, he preferred to go no more than 4 on a bat, and 3 on an arm or something to that effect?

    • sasquash20 - Mar 6, 2012 at 2:48 PM

      How many WS MVPs do those guys have. I’ll take Cole over all of them.

  10. philsbirdsflyers - Mar 5, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Rueben’s entire philosophy revolves around elite starting pitching. Combine that with Hamels’ desire to stay in Philadelphia and there’s little to no chance he hits the FA market. A deal similar to that of Lee seems likely, as Hamels could make a push for #2 behind Halladay with a strong spring.

  11. deathmonkey41 - Mar 5, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Cole needs to move north to the Bronx- so he can hang out with Beep Beep and nail starlets.

    • aceshigh11 - Mar 5, 2012 at 2:50 PM

      Umm…Cole is already married to a hot young thang…from Survivor, in fact:

      I think he’s doing okay.

      • deathmonkey41 - Mar 5, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        Yeah, because that’s stopped professinal athletes before…

      • deathmonkey41 - Mar 5, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        Yeah, because that’s stopped professional athletes before…

      • stex52 - Mar 5, 2012 at 4:26 PM

        Having a really attractive wife doesn’t necessarily stop you from wanting to nail starlets. It just makes it more dangerous and potentially expensive.

      • aceshigh11 - Mar 5, 2012 at 4:26 PM

        True, but it might give him a little pause at least…

  12. aceshigh11 - Mar 5, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    So, in other words…Cole will end up in pinstripes.

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 5, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      I’m good with him wearing pinstripes…the same ones he wears currently, that is. 8)

  13. nategearhart - Mar 5, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    “Home town discount”? He’s from San Diego…

    • sasquash20 - Mar 6, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      Its a saying douche bag

      • nategearhart - Mar 6, 2012 at 5:02 PM

        Right, I know it’s a “saying”. The saying means that you would cut a deal for your…wait for it…hometown. Which, in Hamels’s case, is NOT Philadelphia.

  14. mdpickles - Mar 5, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Years, dollar amount, and luxury tax are not an issue for the Phils. They are printing straight cash at Citizens Bank Park. Already sold 3 million tickets for this season a month before opening day. I would’ve never believed this to happen in Philly 10 years ago.

  15. ditto65 - Mar 5, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    No thanks, I will read it here:

  16. scottp9 - Mar 5, 2012 at 5:14 PM


    Actually, Santana’s deal has a lot of deferred money and its present value is much closer to $120 million than $137 million.

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