With teams rushing to make deals before the trading deadline expires, one name taken off the list is pitching great Cole Hamels. The Philadelphia Phillies and Cole Hamels have agreed to a $144 million deal that spans over a six-year period, according to a person with direct knowledge of negotiations telling USA Today sports. The contract extension is to be announced during a press conference at Citizens Bank Park which is scheduled for 12:00 EsT today. Also, the deal includes an option for a seventh year that could make the total amount exceeding $160 million. The source was not given permission to speak with anyone publicly before the press conference.
Once it is made final publicly, the contract is the most lucrative in Phillies history and the second largest by any pitcher in baseball. CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees signed a deal before the 2009 season for $161 million over a seven-year period.
If the Phillies are to have any chance of making the play-offs, they will need all the help they can get at pitching being they are in last place in the NL East and 14 games behind the first place Washington Nationals. Despite their desire to make the play-offs, the cost of retaining Hamels adds to an already existing financial burden to the Phillies payroll. Next season, they will have to spend $89 million that not only to Hamels but includes commitments to pitchers Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and first baseman Ryan Howard.
According to Wikipedia, Hamels started his major league career with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2006. In his debut, he pitched five scoreless innings and gave up only one hit. He recorded a no decision as the bull pen squandered a 2-run lead over the Cincinnati Reds. In 2008, his record was 14-10 with a 3.09 ERA and had the lowest OBP (On Base Percentage) in the majors. He recorded wins during the playoffs and in the World Series in which he was named Most Valuable Player of the National League Champion Series and MVP of the World Series. He also became the fifth player in history to win two post MVP awards during the same season.
The Phillies are counting on Hamels being able to perform as he did in 2008 for the rest of this season and longer. So far, he continues to demonstrate why he was deserving of a new and longer contract with Philadelphia. He has pitched 19 games this season with a record of 11-4 and an ERA of 3.23. If he can continue to be dominant, the Phillies will at least have one pitcher they can count on this season and beyond.
Cole Hamels Contract with Phillies
Press conference announcing the Phillies’ signing of star pitcher Cole Hamels to a six-year, $144 million contract (with the possibility of a 7th year). Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr speaks, followed by Hamels’ initial remarks.