Hamels More Expensive After Every Start – Phillies Nation

Hamels More Expensive After Every Start

Hamels has been dropping the hammer all year. What will that lead to? (PHOTO: Getty)

Sinister. Evil. Out of accord. In ancient times, those who were left-handed were thought of as different. If you’re lucky enough to have been born ambidextrous, the ability to use both hands with skill, the left hand is still looked down upon. The word ambidextrous comes from the Latin word “dexter,” meaning right – so it is defined as right-handed on both sides. And if you’ve noticed, the word “right” means correct. Has a better sound to it than “yeah, you’re left,” or “left-on, bro!”

Us lefties have been maimed, tortured, and cast down for thousands of years. Well no more! Not in baseball, anyway.

Left-handed starting pitchers who top out at 95 don’t grow on trees. To get graphic, few grow in a womb and are released to the world at birth, either. Cole Hamels is one who was born with the gift of a powerful fastball using the “weaker arm.”

Studies suggest that only 10 percent of humans are left-handed (count me in). That means even fewer are solid ballplayers that can hurl a ball with precision and speed. Hamels is certainly one.

A few weeks back, we looked at the top pitchers in baseball. In the top 11 of our unscientific study, four lefties resided (if Johan Santana we’re healthy, he may havecracked the list). Two of them are filthy rich, one of them plays for a club that will assuredly make him very wealthy, and the other is Cole Hamels.

While Cliff Lee and C.C. Sabathia have eclipsed the $100 million plateau, and Jon Lester looks to cash in soon, Hamels waits his turn, too. He won’t have to wait much longer.

When I think of Hamels, conjured is an image of a highway billboard displaying the growing national debt. The number for Hamels continues to soar as his final arbitration date nears.

That’s what we want though, right (or left)? We want to see homegrown talent shoot off into the stratosphere and become one of the most talented pitchers in all of baseball. Just two years ago, many wondered if Hamels would ever reach this point. He has, and he looks to be sticking around for quite some time.

Ruben Amaro Jr. and his front office minions are no doubt attuned to Hamels’ progression. In the final year of a three-year contract that paid him just over $28 million, Hamels is approaching a hefty raise, either through arbitration prior to 2012, or through a new contract extension.

What exactly is he worth? It’s hard to tell at this point, since he has an unusual resume. Nestled between five very impressive seasons is one still fresh in the minds of many. In 2009, Hamels dropped the ball. If he had been on point following the 2008 World Series title, the Phillies may have been back-to-back champions. However, his focus seemed somewhat blurred and it was a lost season, so much so that he publicly hoped the season would come to an end.

He’s no longer that guy. While he’ll never be labeled a bulldog on the mound, Hamels has a newfound sense of what it takes to be overpowering, both physically and mentally. He can blow a fastball by you now — his fastball velocity has increased two miles per hour since 2009 — and if things don’t go his way, Hamels can now suppress his inner angst, transferring the energy into his next pitch.

The numbers never lie. Going into tonight’s game against the Marlins, Hamels currently leads the National League in WHIP (0.95), is second in wins (8), fourth in ERA (2.58), fifth in strikeouts (91), and eighth in innings (90.2, even though he’s a start behind 6 of the 7 guys ahead of him on that list.)

Pretty soon, the numbers in his bank account won’t lie either.

Here is a list of some of the recent contracts handed out to top starting pitchers, going by average annual value:

  • -Cliff Lee, $24 million (2011-2015)
  • -C.C Sabathia, $23 million (2009-2015)
  • -Johan Santana, $22.9 million (2008-13)
  • -Roy Halladay, $20 million (2011-13)
  • -Carlos Zambrano, $18.3 million (2008-12)
  • -Barry Zito, $18 million (2007-13)
  • -Jake Peavy, $17.3 million (2010-12)
  • -A.J. Burnett, $16.5 million (2009-13)
  • -John Lackey, $16.5 million (2010-14)
  • -Justin Verlander, $16 million (2010-14)

I would take Hamels over all but a few. It’s now a discussion as to whether or not Hamels is a better pitcher than Lee and Sabathia, and although Verlander is paid a pittance in relation to those guys, I would likely choose him over Sabathia as well.

After discussing with some buddies over a few beverages, we came to the conclusion that 5/$100MM would be a number close enough to keep both sides happy. But is that even enough? If Hamels finishes out the season as strong as he began it, couldn’t he reach the Lee/Sabathia territory?

It then comes down to a timeline; when exactly do you try to get a long-term deal done? Do they rush the negotiation process and try to get him to ink one now, in turn possibly saving the Philies some cash? Will his agent, John Boggs, even allow that to happen?

Do they wait until the two sides toss around figures prior to arbitration, then go at it from there?

Whatever the contract ends up being, it’s nice to see Hamels giving lefties a good name. For a while there, we weren’t sure. But he’s turned out to be one hell of a southpaw. A very rich one, at that.

Click to comment


  1. Andrew From Waldorf

    June 14, 2011 at 12:56 am

    At some point you run out of money?

    Or you dont?

  2. bacardipr05

    June 14, 2011 at 2:48 am

    Yes i guess you do run out of money. Oswalt possibly wont be back next year if he does come back it be for 1 year. That money can go to Cole. Polly contract is up next year no more Lidge an Ibanez.

  3. Lefty

    June 14, 2011 at 5:09 am

    On the open market, Cole is worth as much or more than Lee. And we had better be prepared to pay it, because someone else will. If you don’t think the Yankees will do everything they can to steal him away after what happened with Lee, you’re wrong. Everyone points to Lee being a great big game, great playoff pitcher. But, does he have any hardware to go along with that reputation? Cole Hamels does, from the MVP at the biggest stage of all, the WFS.

    As far as the whole 10 % lefty thing goes- Keep in mind the way human brains work- the right side of the brain controls the left side of our bodies and vice versa. This in fact, puts Pat, myself and all other lefties as the only humans on earth in our “right minds”. BWAAAHAHA!!!

    Being in his right mind, there is no way Cole signs for 5/100, unless he has a total meltdown, (and we don’t want that) he’ll get as much or more than Lee. Somewhere if not here.

    • Pat Gallen

      June 14, 2011 at 8:03 am

      I like that lefty, well played!

  4. TheDipsy

    June 14, 2011 at 6:59 am

    Hey Lefty, thats pretty funny. I think Cole absolutely signs for 5/100. He’s nuts if he doesn’t. He doesn’t have the leverage those other pitchers had in that he’s under team control for another year. Two more reasons to sign. Tommy and John.

    The Dipsy

  5. Don M

    June 14, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I would be surprised if Hamels would turn down $100 Million for the chance at $120 M ….. at some point enough money is enough money .. and if we were to buy out his arbitration year and give him the security and peace of mind, I think he’d ink that deal

    • Manny

      June 14, 2011 at 10:15 am

      I, too, would be surprised if he doesn’t take that. Actually, I could see them agreeing on a 4-year deal so that he can get his HUGE payday when he’s 32 (like Cliff and others have done).

  6. Pat Gallen

    June 14, 2011 at 9:51 am

    You would think, Don M. But then again, with the way agents work and the players union – you never know.

  7. therookie300

    June 14, 2011 at 10:07 am

    5 years and $100 Million is an offer I think he would sign immediately. That arb year is good negotiating point for the Phils. Hamels would get contract security and be paid like the top players at his position. When that deal would expire, he would have a chance to sign another nice deal (obviously depending on performance). Cliff Lee got his mega-deal when he was 32. A 5 year deal makes sense for both sides right now by buying out the arb year. King Felix signed a similar deal.

    • Pat Gallen

      June 14, 2011 at 11:31 am

      It’s insane that he can actually set himself up for 2 mega deals if he plays his cards right.

  8. Manny

    June 14, 2011 at 10:13 am

    In other news, Carlos Carrasco shut down the Yankees in NYC…

    • Pat Gallen

      June 14, 2011 at 11:43 am

      Trade was still worth it, haha.

  9. bacardipr05

    June 14, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Be interesting to see what will be done. Keeping four aces for long probably wont be feasible. Be hard to keep 3 Aces at that. I have a feeling they will sign Cole an sometime in the future they will trade Lee. At some point the Phils will have to get younger an bring in a new core say 2013. We are pretty much stuck with Howard though.

  10. Chuck

    June 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    ” It’s now a discussion as to whether or not Hamels is a better pitcher than Lee and Sabathia”

    Pat, I said a few days ago on another thread that I thought that at age 32 that Hamels will be better than Cliff Lee is now. And while it’s hard to really say for sure if that’s going to happen, I DO feel that at age 27 he is better than Lee was 5 years ago. I just think we are all witnessing the emergence of a bonafide SUPERSTAR.

    So, yeah…..two mega deals could be a serious reality for Cole.

    I get the feeling he wants to stay here….he’s said as much. But the Phillies have to offer him something worthwhile in order to get it done. 5/100 sure seems worthwhile enough to me…but who knows…

  11. bacardipr05

    June 14, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I dont know Chuck all the boo’s Cole gets from us after he tosses one bad start. When Roy H has a bad start oh he was off today. He must not be feeling well. Its a double edge for Cole always has been just worse now.

    • Chuck

      June 14, 2011 at 12:32 pm

      Anybody that boos Cole Hamels after one bad start shouldn’t be allowed to enter Citizens Bank Park.

  12. Pat Gallen

    June 14, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    A source has told me that Hamels definitely wants to stay here, that he’s grown to love Philly, but he also wants a fair offer, which of course, is fair.

  13. Chuck

    June 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I would think that 5/100 is MORE than fair.

    • betasigmadeltashag

      June 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm

      Really Chuck MORE than fair, did you see the numbers some of the other pitchers got. I would say it is on the edge of fair. If they allow him to go to arbitration he may get 20 million for one year, you want to take that chance, and have him have another good year, maybe a Cy Young on his shelf, someone will give him 5-7 years at his age for 22-25 per.

  14. betasigmadeltashag

    June 14, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    The booing aside, I think Cole likes it here. Also he seems like a guy who has a sense of history, if he signs for 4-5 years that means he will pitch with Lee and Doc for at least two more years and Cliff for 3 or four. And depending on what Roy 2 decides to do, even he stays for another year you can defer some of Coles money till the end of the deal, And at 31 -32 paying Cole 25 million would not be a bad deal. I think you try and resign him before the end of the year, I think sometime after the All star break. Even if you go 5 years 120 million. I think Cole likes winning and would want to stay in this rotation as long as he can. The Phillies have shown that will spend money to keep a winning team on the field. If Dom Brown comes around he will be relative cheap, And no Lidge or Raul there is some money, and with the young bull pen arms outside of Madson, they will inexpensive for a few years also.

  15. Chuck

    June 14, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Yes, MORE than fair. He’s 27. He’s had success….but not a HUGE body of work like Doc’s (who, when you really think about it, is UNDERpaid) I don’t think you have to pay 120M….I don’t know…maybe I’m wrong.

    5/100M.. When he’s 32 he can then sign another mega deal that could FAR surpass that. By the time he’s 37….still young enough to keep on pitching if he’s healthy…..he could have earned 250M+.

    Not too shabby.

  16. Ryan H.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    hamels hasn’t merely reached his potential, he is much better than I ever imagined. He is downright dominant. one of the best in the game. ever since he abandoned trying to use his curve as the third pitch and found that incredible cutter (most likely from studying c. lee) he has become a force of nature. not only that, but he also has the bulldog mentality. he wants to be in the spotlight. he wants the ball in big games. he wants the big stage. he wants to continue to improve his game and get better every year. he’s willing to learn from the older more experienced guys around him. he’s a leader as well.

    I expect him to get 5 years and a hundred million.

    • Ryan H.

      June 14, 2011 at 2:04 pm

      …. at the very minimum

  17. Andrew From Waldorf

    June 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    i love HOW some of you think he will TAKE less
    players TEND to go to THE team that offers the most

    i was HERE telling you in 2009 that werth WAS gone after 2010
    that someone ELSE would overpay

    that the phillies HAVE over paid some of the position players will hamper THIS

    i peronay of all the 2008 players would have signed cole TO the long term deal

    BUT you seem to want to KEEP ALL the players
    you cannot KEEP ALL the players
    it DOESNT make sense

    and you can run out OF money when you have THE one player to sign

    i suspect THAT when he hits the open market THE yankees OR red sox will get stoopid with HIM and the phillies will have to say goodbye
    and sometimes you have to SAY goodbye
    like werth and hopefully utley or rollins AFTER this year

    and THAT is A shame since to me he deserves the long term deal MORE than anyone else

    • Pat Gallen

      June 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm

      Andrew are you typing like Sarge talks?
      “You have to jerk OFF the ball! He hit that ball HARD right there!”

      • Don M

        June 14, 2011 at 4:38 pm

        He’s doing it as a shot at me… for saying I couldn’t understand his posts – and how i emphasize things

        First sentence should have read:
        “i LOVE how some of you think he will take LESS”

        but I have faith he’ll get it soon

  18. Chuck

    June 14, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I don’t think you can compare Jayson Werth to Cole Hamels. Two different people. Two different mindsets.

  19. Andrew From Waldorf

    June 14, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    some of you guys need to take off your phillies colored glasses for a few hours and honestly and openly look at the situation

    If I am coles agent I wait till after next year and play the field.

    There is a Pujos race this year. That for 25 million a year the phillies woulda coulda been major players in. But they arent.

    The one of the Cubs or Cardinals will lose that. Thats another team that will have alot of money to throw around. Remember Howard and Halladay get increases for 2011 nulifying losing people like lidge.

    and you all want to resign Rollins and think he will take less.

    also Coles age makes him worth more than Lee. Hes better than lee now
    And his contract will be higher than lees

    just sayin

    now you can go back to fantasy land were players take less to be a phillie. you sign 35 year olds to 12 year contracts and the players perform better as they get older and the phils sign everyone long term for huge contracts. They are like Obama they just print money when needed

  20. Andrew From Waldorf

    June 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Chuck how can you say that?
    How do you know?
    Weth wanted to be here too believe me.

    I am playing nice now too before anyone gets mad 🙂

  21. Jeff

    June 14, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    The Phillies will be the first team with three starters making over 100 million. Justin Verlander, is the perfect person to list Cole with. Look at the money.

  22. Andrew From Waldorf

    June 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    For the record I thnk its 50/50 hes a phillie 2012
    So dont be suprised one way or the other.

    also BTW Cole makes 6.5 this year and 9.5 next year

    So when making up your mind “budgets” next year understand alot of the current players who WILL be here next year are getting auto raises.

    It would help if we knew the budget. Will it go up or down? I suspect down.
    the Phillies are on the cusp of the luxory tax. They really dont want to be in THAT group that pays the luxory tax

  23. Andrew From Waldorf

    June 14, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Carlos Carrasco has won his last 2 starts 1-0

    Including beating the Yankees 1-0 last night

    He was part of the Lee trade to the Indians.
    Good for him and the Indians. Like to see both teams winners in a deal

  24. Chuck

    June 14, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Cole Hamels is a homegrown talent. A POWER lefty. I think the Phillies will make every effort to make sure he doesn’t get away. Teams….or at least teams with money…. don’t just breed dominant left-handed starting pitchers only to just see them walk away when they are hitting their prime.

    Jayson Werth was past his prime….or at least far enough into it that to sign him for more than what they offered would have been a mistake. He’s a good player but not even on the same page as someone like a Cole Hamels as far as how important he is to the team.

  25. TheDipsy

    June 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Why are we talking about Jayson Werth? He was a guy who had one big money contract in him so he set out to break the bank come hell or high water and god bless him he did. I am sure he wanted to stay here but on his terms. Thank god we didn’t keep him. Cole has made pretty decent money so far for a 27 year old kid. Would he be in a position to give a team that he likes a 10% discount? Sure. Should he? No, but its up to him. Werth wasn’t giving anyone a discount. Like Chuck said: Two different dudes, two different mindsets. @AWF – What Werth was hoping was that the Phils would be the team to offer him the most money. Forget that.

    The Dipsy

    • Don M

      June 14, 2011 at 4:02 pm

      If the difference between the Phillies offer and the Nationals offer was only 10% …. im 99% sure he would’ve stayed in Philly

      but the Nationals offerered him $126 M or something… and the Phillies was a lot less than $113.5 M …. it was a reported 4 year, $66 M offer = $60 M less …. close to 50%, not just 10%

      If the Phillies let Hamels get to Free Agency, instead of signing him this offeseason to buy out his last arbitration year, and then offer him 50% less than someone else . . . . yea, expect Hamels to walk and the fans to Boo him as though they wouldn’t do the same

  26. Don M

    June 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    It would be a ballsy move for Hamels and his agent to pass up a legit offer from the Phillies this offseason ….to risk injury, etc… just for the chance to make extra millions with other teams bidding on him next offseason

    And you can’t compare Pujols’ situation to anyone on the Phillies… the dude is reportedly asking for 10-years, $30 M each … … with varying reports saying its the 10-years that he wants so maybe $25 M would do it.. and others saying its the $30 M per year he wants and maybe 7 years would do it. … … so lets say that $25 M can sign Pujols, but it would take 10 years instead of 5 for Howard … I’m pretty sure that most GMs would rather have Howard’s deal for 5 years, than Pujols’ for 10

    @ jeff . . . Phillies wouldn’t be the first team with 3 players.. they have 1 pitcher on a $100 M deal, Lee .. and one position player, Howard.

    Yankees have Sabathia, Tex, Arod.. jeter was before this new deal

  27. Andrew From Waldorf

    June 14, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Lets see Pujos sign a deal longer than 5 years. Lets see what deal he gets.
    If its more than 5 years and more than 10% higher than the Phillies first baseman Ill be suprised.

    @ Dipsy Cuddyer was just on mlb network. Hes been hot like Pence

    Cole is the exception in all this. He is the guy I would have wrapped up long term before Howard Utley Rollins or any of the other guys. Including Lee.
    But you cant sign everyone for long term deals into thier late 30s.

    Thus far when they extend people ( see Blanton Howard) they are grossly over paying them what they would get on the open market.

  28. Chuck

    June 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    I would be SHOCKED if Albert Pujols signs for ONLY 5 years. He might not get 10. But 7 or 8 at 25-30M per would be realistic. Either way, yeah……Howard’s deal will look like a bargain.

  29. Don M

    June 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Here’s my take on both Blanton and Howard.

    when Wolf, Carlos Silva, Gil Meche, etc.. are getting $10 M per year as Free Agents.. getting Blanton – a similar, probably better pitcher for $8 M per season isn’t “overpaying” –that’s what average pitchers cost. Now that we’ve got the other 4 and we don’t need Blanton, it looks like too much money, but your team needs serviceable pitchers on the mound, and they cost $7,8,9, 10 M or more

    Maybe Howard at $25 M per season is a lot more than you would have spent, but if you follow the rest of baseball – you’ll see that his extension DIRECTLY relates to Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder … both of those guys now go to their clubs -teams with tighter budgets, etc.. and demand that if Ryan Howard gets $25 M for 5 years… I want $27 for 7 years … and that’s how the Brewers shot at a dynsasty may be broken up . . . and if the Cardinals give Pujols what he wants, that is like 20% of their payroll spent on just 1 player …… Moves forced by the Phillies signing Howard to a deal similar to what he’d command on the open market anyway …. There’s a great chance that the Cubs or Nationals can land one of Pujols, Fielder if their current clubs don’t keep them – which greatly weakens the Brewers or Cardinals ….two teams that look to be our closest competition in the NL

  30. TheDipsy

    June 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    AWF – I have no problem with the Halladay and Lee deals. They’re not that old and they’ve never had arm trouble. Ruben would have really been playing with fire if he waited until Howard’s walk year to sign him. As it turns out it was probably a bad sign. They should get Hamels signed.

    The Dipsy

  31. Pat Gallen

    June 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Hey guys, check out the headlines. FIXED!

    Tell your friends.

    • Lefty

      June 14, 2011 at 8:34 pm

      Headlines? We have headlines? I thought those things were jigsaw puzzle pieces. 🙂

  32. Andrew From Waldorf

    June 14, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    The rub is that A Gonz only gets 21 million per.

    16% less than Howard and signed after howard

    Fielder isnt getting even that much or will get something close to that. Not more.

    Pujos is an all time player. So 7 years 25 million? But that will be about it

    I have no problem with the Lee or Halladay deals.

    I have no problem with Howard accepting being grossly over paid. Thats on the team and whoever negotiated such a bad deal.
    What was thier stance? Did they not give in on every count? they should have just waited and he would be about 15-18 mil per as a free agent and thats 7-10 million per year to give to Cole.
    thats my point and why i even brought it up.

    • Ryan H.

      June 15, 2011 at 1:21 am

      “a gonz” has never even come close to the numbers howard has put up.

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