Jul 25, 2012, 9:15 AM EDT
The Phillies deal with Cole Hamels is big. Really big. Like, the second largest contract to a pitcher in baseball history big. $144 million guaranteed, $161 million with a vesting option, the details of which are not known.
But here’s the question: can the Phillies really pull this off?
And by “this,” I mean the vast payroll outlays they have on the books. As of now, the Phillies owe $133 million in 2013 to only nine players. Add to that a $5 million option owned to Carlos Ruiz that they’ll certainly pick up. I would assume at this point that Hunter Pence will be dealt for payroll reasons, but if he isn’t and they want him around, he’s going to cost eight figures next year too. That’s a lot of money for less than half of an aging roster.
But is it too much? Maybe based on what we’re used to with baseball economics it is. But as we’ve noted several times recently, we’re in a new era now thanks to the skyrocketing value of local TV deals. The sort of which allowed the Angels to pay Albert Pujols what they paid him, with the difference being totally made up by the increase in their annual take from Fox. An increase, thanks in part, to the star power that they can put on TV each night.
So, you’re the Phillies: you’re filling the house every night and, in three years, you can expect to get a windfall in local TV bucks. If you don’t pay Cole Hamels that money and keep the team on perpetual win-now footing, are you able to reap that money? If you do reap it, is Cole Hamels’ deal all that bad?
As is always the case, it depends on the cast surrounding him. Is Roy Halladay beginning a decline? Is Chase Utley on his last leg? Is Ryan Howard going to level off and come close to justifying that deal? Where is the rest of the offense going to come from?
Those are the big questions about the Phillies’ prospects going forward. The same questions they’ve always had. The money owed to Cole Hamels, in some sense then, is not the biggest concern. Assuming he doesn’t go full-blown Zito on them, the investment in Hamels seems like the smallest risk they have.
Jul 7, 2015, 10:15 PM EDT
On Tuesday, Miguel Sano hit the first of what should be many major league home runs.
Jul 7, 2015, 9:25 PM EDT
Hunter Pence is back from his second major injury this season. Maybe this time he’ll stick.
Jul 7, 2015, 8:35 PM EDT
The Phillies’ GM was pretty blunt about who would be playing second base when Chase Utley returns. It ain’t Chase Utley.
Jul 7, 2015, 7:45 PM EDT
Albert Pujols will participate in the 2015 Home Run Derby. It will be his fourth career appearance in the Derby.
Jul 7, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT
Jenrry Mejia is back with the Mets after missing 80 games due to a positive test for Stanozolol.
Jul 7, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT
Paulo Orlando did what kids pretend to do in their backyards: he hit a walk-off grand slam.
Jul 7, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT
On the bright side: he has his velocity back.
Jul 7, 2015, 4:10 PM EDT
Two key players are ready to rejoin the Yankees after missing extended time with injuries.
Jul 7, 2015, 3:57 PM EDT
He’ll likely be evaluated for a concussion.
Jul 7, 2015, 3:20 PM EDT
Yes, those are real people.
Jul 7, 2015, 2:25 PM EDT
He went 0-3 with a 6.56 ERA in five starts.
Jul 7, 2015, 1:17 PM EDT
Can you feel the excitement?
Jul 7, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT
There are guys who check stuff these days, Dave. So better to be vague.
Jul 7, 2015, 11:44 AM EDT
Jaso has been out since Opening Day with a bruised left wrist.
Jul 7, 2015, 11:20 AM EDT
Many have sured Major League Baseball over such things in the past.
Jul 7, 2015, 10:47 AM EDT
“I’ve always been straightforward that I want to go play for a contender and I’m not going to shy away from it.”
Jul 7, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT
And even Andrelton Simmons, the best defensive player in baseball, says he wouldn’t sit as close as that without protective netting.
Jul 7, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT
Odorizzi threw 5.2 shutout innings on 73 pitches in a minor-league rehab start Monday.
Jul 7, 2015, 8:58 AM EDT
Not that I’m gonna try to tell you how to play this game.
Jul 7, 2015, 8:28 AM EDT
Short version: Ned Yost thinks this is an actual baseball game!
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