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Phillies, Cole Hamels agree to a six-year, $144 million deal

Jul 25, 2012, 7:04 AM EDT

Cole Hamels Getty Images

UPDATE: Jon Heyman says the deal is for six years and $144 million. There is also a 7th-year, vesting optiion making total package worth in excess of $160 million.

UPDATE: Buster Olney says that a deal is in place, with Hamels signing with the Phillies is for a little more than $140 million, over six years, pending a physical.

1:33 AM:’s Ken Rosenthal has the scoop: Cole Hamels and the Phillies are close to a six-year, $137.5 million contract extension that would be the second largest deal ever given to a pitcher.

Hamels would essentially get $23 million per year, the same amount CC Sabathia received in his original seven-year, $161 million pact with the Yankees. That deal is the biggest ever for a pitcher. In terms of annual salary, Hamels would be the game’s third highest-paid pitcher behind Sabathia, whose renegotiated deal with the Yanks puts him at $24.4 million per year, and teammate Cliff Lee, who is making $24 million per season as part of a five-year, $120 million contract.

All things considered, it looks like a very fair deal for both sides. Maybe the Dodgers would go crazy and try to blow Hamels out of the water with an offer this winter, but barring that, $140 million seemed to be the likely price tag for the left-hander. The deal allows Hamels to get market value and stay with the only club he’s known during his professional career.

With Hamels out of the way, Zack Greinke would be the only elite starter available in free agency this winter. Anibal Sanchez and Edwin Jackson would be next in line, something that will surely drive up their price tags. That Jackson settled for a one-year deal with the Nationals last winter is looking like a very astute move right now.

Hamels, 28, is 11-4 with a 3.23 ERA in 19 starts this season. While he battled injuries in high school and in the minors, he’s been plenty durable in the majors. His only DL stint in the last five years came in Aug. 2011, when he missed some time with shoulder inflammation. It didn’t prevent him from pitching 216 innings last year, and he’s on pace to make 30 starts for the fifth straight year in 2012. He’s 85-58 with a 3.38 ERA lifetime for the Phillies.

  1. ame123 - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    Sanchez was already traded. And Nats arent going to trade a starter, that’s silly. Josh Johnson would be the next in line but he has questionable availability.

    • The Baseball Gods - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:43 AM

      He said in free agency this winter, not at the trade deadline. Try reading a little harder before criticizing someone’s work.

  2. theawesomersfranchise - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    Hanley is a Dodger

  3. uyf1950 - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:45 AM

    It’s going to be interesting to see how these long term deals work out for the Phillies. Assuming this happens with Hamels based on their AAV for MLB luxury tax purposes the Phillies have 7 players that will earn a total of approximately $137MM in 2013. Then come 2014 not counting Halladay’s option the Phillies have approximately $100MM tied up in 5 players. Add Halladay to that figure and you have 6 players at about $120MM. And that really doesn’t change until at least 2017 when as of right now only Howard will potentially be under contract via a team option and now Hamels with his proposed new contract.

    As a Yankee fan these $20MM plus contracts that go out 5 or more years usually come back to bit the team on the butt. We’ll see how it works out in the case of the Phillies.

    • seeingwhatsticks - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:27 AM

      Not to mention the fact that they aren’t actually any good right now, Halladay has been injured, Utley can barely get through half a season, and Howard might be the single most overrated player in the game today. Yikes. This does not look like a team that’s on the upswing and in fact could be the most expensively bad team in baseball history pretty soon.

      • chap6869 - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:34 AM

        It’s not quite the doom and gloom for the future that everyone’s saying. Look at the contracts- Lee, in all likelihood, will be traded now that Hamels has signed. Victorino, Blanton and Polanco are all gone at seasons end, if they’re not traded by the deadline first. Halladays contract was written that he had to hit a pitch limit this year and next to guarantee 2014 and it clearly looks as if that number won’t be reached. Utley is only signed through next year. With all that said, that only leaves Howard, Hamels and Rollins and Papelbons contracts that are “long term” and Rollins and Papelbon are not all that outrageous by today’s contracts. The Phillies, by 2014, should hopefully have both prospects and new Free Agents leading this team into the future and they’ll have plenty of money to do it with! My only fear is that they keep winning before the deadline, leaving Raj with the difficult decision of keeping the team intact for a late season run or trading away players for future prospects. Im a diehard Phil’s fan but they have just dug too big a hole to climb out of this year, make the moves and rebuild for a run in 2013 or 2014!!!!

      • paperlions - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:47 AM

        All of that is true….but, the Phillies still have to find someone to replace Victorino, Blanton, and Polanco….and if they can find a taker for Lee, they’ll either eat 1/2 the salary or get nothing in return…and then they’ll have to replace Lee. Who are these replacements and where will they come from?

        The problem with this Philly team isn’t just that they are old, it is that there is precious little in the minors that is ready to step up and replace those old guys…..and the FA market has mostly dried up as teams now lock up their young potential stars early, so the FA market is mostly an expensive and declining one, a way to supplement a team, but not to build one.

      • chap6869 - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:56 AM

        I disagree Paperlions, while it’s true that they will have holes to fill, they also have tradeable veterans that could help a playoff team win now (Lee, Pence, Polanco, Victorino, Blanton) all of them could and would bring back the prospects to start on the way to rebuilding. The Phillies have plenty of pitching on the way in the minors that will, in all likelyhood, be in the bigs by 2014. What they need to replenish is position players and that’s what they can get with some deadline moves. Also, there will be pieces on the F/A market to help( Hamilton,Bourn etc.) Not saying that they will go after a Hamilton but there will be productive players to help in F/A. Again, not the doom and gloom that everyone is making it out to be. Trust me, I’ve seen doom and gloom after the 1983 season, the Phils made a push to acquire veterans for one last run( which they did make it to the WS that year) but by doing so, they traded away their future and left their fans with 10 dry, long years of recovery. This team can and hopefully will avoid that by being proactive now!

      • paperlions - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:41 AM

        Blanton sucks, they won’t get a useful prospect for him, even if they eat his remaining salary.

        Victorino is a pending FA and struggling, they might get a middling prospect for him, but likely no one that projects as a solid MLB starter.

        Pence is about to get expensive, teams aren’t going to pay for him in prospects and then have to fork over $12M or so in arbitration.

        Because of Lee’s contract, which is arguably an over-pay, Philly will have to eat a lot of his salary to get anything for him…again, teams aren’t going to pay in both prospects and salary.

        There just aren’t very many teams that will give up high ceiling or close to the majors prospects for rentals or expensive/old veterans….one of the few remaining teams to regularly do that is the team with all of these guys on the roster.

      • uyf1950 - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:41 AM

        chap – actually if I’m not mistaken Halladay’s contract option for the 2014 season has 2 parts: first part is a combined innings pitched for both the 2012 and 2013 (415 innings). The other part is just innings pitched for the 2013 season (225 innings). So it’s not as far out of the question that Halladay will pitch the 225 innings in 2013 to have the option vest. Considering 2007 through 2011 he pitched more then 225 in each of those years.

    • chew1985 - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:16 AM

      The Phillies have money–they’ve just proved it again. Their problem is assembling the rest of what it takes to win from there. The further removed from Pat Gillick the personnel moves are, the worse it looks. Amaro did a hideous job of filling in the gaps last winter and it showed from day one. And then there’s the alleged field manager and pitching coach. Keeping Rollins as leadoff man easily costs them 5-7 games a year, last year, this year and the next two apparently. {Michael Bourn could solve that problem}. Not moving Ruiz up in the order earlier than they did cost them a few games in April and May.

      Other once-key players will be jettisoned in the next week. And the track record of what the Phillies get back in trades is atrocious. That had better change and quick. They are still in deep, dark water with or without Hamels, but this sigining is a big plus for the fan base.

      • skeleteeth - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:54 AM

        Michael Bourne, who has struck out 140 times twice in the last 7 years, slugged over .400 only once officially, and has a career OBP 11 points higher than Jimmy Rollins? You’re right in that Rollins isn’t a lead-off hitter but Bourne is no solution.

      • chew1985 - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:11 AM

        Bourn is not perfect but he steals bases and will play a more consistent and better centerfield than the deadbeat that’s out there now.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:51 AM

        Bourne enters FA this winter though so it may not be worth the price of Admission.

      • paperlions - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:45 AM

        Holy cow do you over-estimate the effects of lineup order and the replacement options available.

        Philly has only one good OBP player (Ruiz), they just don’t have anyone else suitable to leadoff. Having Rollins up there has cost them 0 games.

        Moving Ruiz up has minimal effect, the biggest factor is that he’ll get an extra PA every few games. Aside from getting more PAs for your better hitters, there is almost no effect whatsoever of batting order on production.

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:09 PM

        Victorino—he’s Hawaiian, you know—is one of the best CFs in the majors, so I have no idea where you come up with Bourne being better than that “deadbeat.”

  4. kvanhorn87 - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:43 AM

    They are definitely on the down slide but RAJ made it clear that Hamels is the one piece they want as a constant in the future.

  5. pugdog1228 - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:45 AM

    Yeah baby yeah!!!

  6. Francisco (FC) - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:41 AM

    Edwin Jackson would be next in line, something that will surely drive up their price tags. That Jackson settled for a one-year deal with the Nationals last winter is looking like a very astute move right now.

    I wonder if Edwin will rehire Scott Boras now…

  7. tsi431 - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    I love it when other teams overpay. I thought only my Mets did that. Until Alderson took over of course. He is worth the money now, no doubt, but 4-6 years from now it will be Johan Santana all over again, both the same age but Johan was slightly better.

    • chap6869 - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:03 AM

      UH, in 4 years Hamels will be 32 and in his prime! That’s a bad thing??? Just because Santana ended up being a bad signing for the Mets doesn’t mean everyone else who signs long term deals will be bad. Strange and inaccurate thinking on your part!!!!!

  8. dannythebisforbeast - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    Victorino is a good defensive CF. he may be a bonehead at the plate

  9. papalurchdxb - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    Casey Close just creamed his pants…

  10. chaseutley - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Perfect timing. This takes some of the sting out of Shea Weber going back to Nashville.

  11. Jonny 5 - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    Many people doubt the Phillies will risk going past the luxury tax threshold. They assume Lee would be traded, Victorino allowed to walk, etc… But I’m not so sure about that. With a TV deal somewhere in the range of 5 billion dollars on the horizon as a very real possibility I think the Phillies will do anything they can to keep ratings up. And let’s face it, those two guys help ratings and normally help the team win. I’m not saying things won’t happen to better balance the team, but I would be surprised to see any move which would say “We give up this season.” Anytime soon. For the sake of ratings. And it’s not like 10 games back from the wc spot is insurmountable for the Phillies.

    • chap6869 - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:09 AM

      Jonny 5, while your not wrong in saying that 10 games back is insurmountable, leapfrogging 7 teams that are currently in front of the Phillies is pretty improbable. It’s time to think of next year and beyond. Get prospects now and, as you said, they will have plenty of money going forward to spend on F/A in the future!!!!

      • uyf1950 - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:24 PM

        chap, just my opinion but I think in general you are overstating/overvaluing what the Phillies can receive in the way of prospects for players they may desire to move by the trad deadline.
        First, the new CBA does not give the acquiring team a draft choice for any player they trade for at the trade deadline that will become a FA at years end. That will have a chilling effect on moving players.
        Second, for example trying to more someone like Lee while it sounds good will be a very difficult task. First off there are not may teams that want to take on a $24MM salary for the next few years for a 33 soon to be 34 year old pitcher and surrender quality prospects also.

        I just think you maybe overly optimistic of what the Phillies could receive if they want to move some players.

    • chap6869 - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:24 PM

      uyf1950, I’ll state the same to you that I mentioned to Jonny 5 in another post. I think your underestimating Pence and Lees values. I agree that Victorino and Blantons trade value is low (low minor prospect or marginal AA/AAA talent) but Lee is signed for several years and Pence is under control for at least another year, even if he is arbitration eligible. The point is, they are not just rentals. As I stated earlier, if it means getting back a 3rd baseman or outfielder of the future, do you honestly believe the Phillies wouldn’t pay part of Lees salary to make it happen?

      • chap6869 - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:35 PM

        Exhibit A

      • uyf1950 - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        Chap, I guess it depends how much of Lee’s salary the Phillies might be willing to pick up. Since Lee’s 2016 option is relatively easy to vest not counting the rest of this season he’s due just over $100MM for the 2013 through 2016 seasons. Of course the more of that $100MM the Phillies would pick up the better the prospect(s) they could receive.
        But maybe it’s just me I have a hard time getting past the fact that he will on the wrong side of 35 for the last 3 years of his contract and many GM’s appear unwilling to pay for a player with both prospects and salary. But, I could very well be wrong. Like I said it all depends how much of that $100MM the Phillies would be willing to eat.

        But let me ask you a question. If the Phillies moved Lee, and as been mentioned Halladay is getting a little long in the tooth. Who do the Phillies really have in their starting rotation say come the 2014 season and beyond? Just asking.

    • chap6869 - Jul 25, 2012 at 2:05 PM

      I could see a rotation of Hamels-Worley-Jesse Biddle-Trevor May and I gotta believe with the freed up money from the loss of Lee/Halladay etc that the Phillies will sign a Top of the rotation type Pitcher to team with Hamels.
      My original statement from the beginning was that the Phillies are not as doomed as some believe and clearly there are ways out of the current payroll problems( problem only in that it’s over the luxury tax limit) I’m a realistic enough Phillies fan to know that this season is, in all likelyhood, over and while guys still have value to the contending teams, get what you can and regroup for next year.

  12. timpaz - Jul 25, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    I’m a lifelong Phillies fan, but they could have used that money to fill everyday roster positions , this is an old team that cannot hit and fielding is getting bad in the infield with Polanco, Rollins and a oft injured Utley.

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