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Negotiations with Hamels Reaching Critical Juncture

Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly is reporting that the Cole Hamels negotiations are reaching a critical point as the July 31 trade deadline approaches. Salisbury reports that Hamels and the Phillies maintain a basic agreement in dollars, about $24 million a year, but continue to struggle to match contract length details, with the Phillies aiming for a four year deal and Hamels seeking more.

This in itself may not be newsworthy, but there were positives from the conversation Salisbury had with Hamels. While Hamels desires to determine his worth on the free agent market, Salisbury is reporting that the desire to stay with one team is more important to Hamels than testing his worth, indicating he would be willing to continue to negotiate.

From Salisbury’s piece:

“Of course,” said Hamels when asked if he’d like to be a Phillie forever. “I grew up watching Tony Gwynn being a Padre forever. That says something about a person if they’re able to do that. I know it’s very hard in this day and age. It’s something I grew up watching and hope to be able to emulate that. It’s up to both sides to be able to do it.”

Notable further is that Gwynn, Hamels’ boyhood idol, was also a client of John Boggs, Hamels’ agent.

Perhaps the most comforting quote from Hamels may have been his indication that the Phillies will have the first and, most importantly, last opportunity to sign him. Salisbury quoted Hamels as stating “I’ll always give them the first choice,” he said. “If there are multiple teams I’m always going to put them at the top of my list.” Hamels has indicated recently that he would be opening to re-signing with the Phillies if he is traded at the deadline and reiterated that with Salisbury.

The Cole Hamels Contract-Trade Watch is in full bloom.

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0 Comments

  1. TheDipsy

    July 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    He’s gonna sign. Thank god. Just give him the opt out.

    The Dipsy

  2. Don M

    July 10, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    The comments he made (to Leslie Guidel) about being open to a trade – and then open to coming back here even if they traded him ….because it would make the organization better in the future … Completely blew my mind.

    Hamels, gets a shot at another postseason, another ring, with a contender (Texas, Detroit), and doesn’t have to move his family in the offseason unless he wants to…. meanwhile, we’d get prospects in return

    Texas 3b prospect, Mike Olt – ranked #4 in their organization… and #34 overall on MLB.com (ahead of #35 Johnathan Singleton)…

    Detroit Tigers 3b prospect, Nick Castellanos- ranked #2 in their organization is #42 on that same list (3 ahead of Trevor May, and 5 ahead of Anthony Gose- TOR)

    Travis D’Arnaud is #20 on that list …
    Zach Wheeler is #22 ….. SF Giants gave him to NY Mets for Beltran last year
    Jarred Cosart is #51 with Houston
    Jesse Biddle is #66 – phillies
    Brody Colvin is #68- phillies

    It was my hope that Victorino could land us a Top 100 pitcher, and maybe a lower prospect.. and that Hamels could land one of these top 3b …and a few others

    Say what you will – but the amount of talent in and around the Phillies farm system the past few seasons is impressive ….hopefully they can take their time and pluck the right prospects from other teams if trades go down

    • Dino

      July 10, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      Chances are they will not get top prospects if the team he is traded to feels that they can’t sign him

      • Don M

        July 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm

        If that team is the Rangers . . . and they might not be intersted in signing him, but would be very interested in having him for the postseason – I don’t think they’d hesitate to part with Olt for Hamels, or Grienke, etc . .

  3. Manny

    July 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Hamels is a stud. We’re lucky to have him. Hoping for some good news!

  4. Don M

    July 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    He also said that he basically wants to see what Free Agency is all about (which I think means, see if someone makes him an offer he can’t refuse, like an 8 year/ $200 Million contract from the Yankees or something crazy) … but he’s said he wants to be here… even if they trade him for prospects right now . . . .

    With no shot at the NL East…. and a long ways to go for the Wild Card – I think you see what you can get for what you have . . . go after Hamels and Bourn in the offseason

    Brown, Bourn, Pence in the OF ….got a legit leadoff man … let Vic, Polanco walk …

    • Jaron B

      July 10, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      If I were Rube, I’d focus the offseason on Hamels not Bourn. Pence, Brown, Mayberry & Nix are under team control for next season. You need a first-half guy b/c Mayberry is not a first-half guy.

  5. Keith

    July 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    This is very wishful thinking, but with this season, all but gone, I am looking at my “ideal” lineup for next year. Here is what I hope.

    CF – Michael Bourn
    SS – Rollins
    2B – Utley
    1B – Howard
    RF – Pence
    C – Ruiz
    3B – Mike Olt (received in trade for Hamels)
    LF – Dom Brown

    SP – Halladay
    SP – Lee
    SP – Hamels (signed as Free Agent)
    SP – Worley
    SP – Cloyd / Pitcher via free agency

    I am assuming this would be under the cap, as D Brown and Olt would be cheap. Replace Vic with Bourn, and replace the salary of 2011 Hamels and Polanco with 2012 Hamels.

    In theory, you wouldn’t need much money for the bullpen. (hoping DeFratus can return next year or even late this year to prove he will be a reliable reliever)

    Does this work? I don’t have all the salary numbers.

    • Don M

      July 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      That’s part of my reluctence to blame anyone for this year . . . . next year, if healthy …. Stutes, Herndon, DeFratus …. is supposed to be a pretty effective bullpen.

      How anyone can blame Charlie or Ruben for the down years of Victorino and Bastardo, etc. . .

      There are pieces here for a top NL team – this just isn’t the year.

      If Hamels does not resign- or sign here as a FA …. we better go hard after Josh Hamilton

      • chuck schreiber

        July 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm

        Oh, Josh pitches too??

      • Jaron B

        July 10, 2012 at 7:41 pm

        Stutes and De Fratus will likely return healthy. David Herndon is not likely to return until May 2013 at the earliest due to July Tommy John surgery.

    • Jeff Dowder

      July 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Assuming they sign Hamels at $24M a season and Pence gets a small arbitration raise, they’ll have about $153 million guarenteed next year:

      Lee – $25M
      Hamels – $24M (Projected)
      Howard – $20M
      Halladay – $20M
      Utley – $15
      Papelbon – $13
      Pence – $12M (Projected)
      Rollins – $11
      Ruiz – $5M
      Kendrick – $4.5M
      Nix – $1.35M

      Polanco – $1M (Buyout)
      Contreras – $500K (Buyout)
      Wigginton – $500K (Buyout)

      They’d have about $20 million left to pay 14 players. I don’t see how they’d be able to afford Michael Bourn. The numbers don’t work.

      • Psujoe

        July 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm

        It’s not as bad as your post suggests. Luxury tax baseline is calculated using AAV of the contract. Chase’s hit is about $12.1, Kendrick $3.75… Also, buyouts don’t count towards the luxury tax since they were already factored into the AAV of previous years. It’s high, but they’ll have more than $20 million.

      • Psujoe

        July 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm

        I should’ve added that the luxury tax starts at $178. So if the Phil’s sign Hamels at $24 and buyout Polanco, contreras and wiggy they’ll have about $31 million to pay 14 players. I did this real quick, but a lot of the 14 will be under a million so they have room. I also think they might be more willing to edge over the cap since it goes to $189 in 2014.

      • Jeff Dowder

        July 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm

        I wasn’t really thinking in cap terms…just in actual dollars. I don’t see them going above $175 million no matter what the cap ramifications would be.

    • schmenkman

      July 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      Bourn is a very good player and I can certainly see the attraction. He is 2 years younger, as he doesn’t turn 30 until December, and he is more of a prototypical leadoff hitter.

      For what it’s worth though Victorino has been the better offensive player in each of the past 3 years:

      Below are their OPS, wOBA, and wRC+ (which is wOBA adjusted for league and park)

      2009: Victorino .803, .354, 114 — Bourn .738, .342, 108
      2010: Victorino .756, .339, 107 — Bourn .686, .319, 96
      2011: Victorino .847, .372, 135 — Bourn .734, .336, 112

      This year, Bourn is certainly having the better year. There has been talk about a hand injury bothering Victorino, and Bourn is having the best season of his career. Trading Victorino and then signing Bourn is looking like “sell low, buy high” scenario.

      2012: Victorino .680, .309, 91 — Bourn .817, .359, 127

      A related article: http://www.thegoodphight.com/2012/7/9/3146816/the-phillies-shouldnt-necessarily-trade-shane-victorino

      • George

        July 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm

        You are absolutely right. The facts that Bourn is two years younger, a true leadoff hitter with better base stealing skills, and is having a much better year than Vic means that he’ll command much more as a free agent than Vic would.

    • Jaron B

      July 10, 2012 at 7:38 pm

      Don’t forget about Kendrick who’s signed for almost $4MM and Brown is playing some center field now (once he gets rehabbed).

  6. Bob in Bucks

    July 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Keith –

    I don’t think they can get under the cap in your scenario. While they drop 25 million from Blanton/Victorino/Polanco, I am assuming Bourn is going for at least $13, Hamels gets another $9 which leaves no room for another starter. Also not sure Ott is ready for MLB (if you get him!). Brown is still a question mark.

    While I like Bourn I am not sure he is a good fit for the team. He should lead off which is Rollins position. What Phils need is RBI production and Utley cannot deliver IMHO.

    The Phils are going to have rebuild in two steps because they cannot shake Utley’s contract until 2014.

    • George

      July 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      Hamels is making $17 million this year, so he’d have to get $26 million next year to make it another $9 million. I don’t think any team is going to pay him that much.

      Whether Olt is ready for prime time is probably going to be a moot point. The Rangers have shown no inclination to trade him, and have said they might move him to the outfield.

      I agree on Bourn, but not just for your reasons. It’s true he’d push Rollins to some other lineup spot, and it’s also true the Phils could probably use a CONSISTENT and uninjured RBI guy. But Bourn is also going to be too expensive. Leadoff guys are few and far between, and he’s better at leadoff than probably any other free agent.

      • Bob in Bucks

        July 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm

        George – Hamels is making $15 million this year.(I am talking salary only although the luxury tax is based on total compensation.) Don’t know where you got the $17 million from. So I am assuming an average of $24.

      • George

        July 10, 2012 at 6:13 pm

        Bob: I must have gotten confused about Hamels’ request. I know he wanted more than $15M, but I thought he had hoped to get $19M. I’ll look it up, just to be sure.

        And by the way, I wasn’t trying to say you’re an idiot, and hope you didn’t take it that way. (Usually when a person attempts to make someone else look stupid, they end up looking stupid themselves.) I just thought you’d made a simple math error and hadn’t realized it. I do agree with your thoughts, however. Even if my $17M salary figure had been right, $7M is still a boatload more money to cram into the budget, and wouldn’t help in signing other players.

        You’re right, too about Utley and rebuilding in stages.

      • Jaron B

        July 10, 2012 at 7:47 pm

        George, Hamels settled for a 1-yr $15MM deal for 2012 in the offseason.

  7. Dylan

    July 10, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    i wouldn’t mind keeping ty wiggington his fielding is poopy but i think he is a great bat, and if not can’t he be a small trade target he was an all star just last year.

    • Jeff Dowder

      July 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      Wigginton would make $4 million next year if he’s not bought out for $500K.

      • George

        July 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm

        Wigginton is a replaceable part, especially with a healthy Howard, and also because he plays defense badly. It’s a fairly small differential between his pay and the buyout, though, so he could stick around.

  8. Andrew From Waldorf

    July 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    LOL

    It blew Don M. Wheelers mind.

    You mean humanitarian Cole.
    Will gladly go to a contender and take some of their prospects to bolster the Phillies future and another in a ring.

    Then out of the kindness of his heart come back to the Phillies in the off season.

    I am sorry I had belly laughs and am going to leave now.
    I had a few comments to be made but they seem irrelevant now.

    Return to this weeks episode of fantasy island.
    I still think Howard and Utley for Hamilton and Kinselr and their top prospects should be considered.

  9. Lefty

    July 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    It seems highly unlikely that they could get high prospects like Olt or Castellanos -AND- sign Hamels back here at the end of the year, to me.

    If a team is going to give up that high a prospect for a rental, they would most likely be in the mind set of signing Hamels long term. I think some are assuming these other teams GM’s are idiots. I happen to think that Jon Daniels and Dave Dombrowski are pretty sharp guys.

    They probably could get some middle prospects for him and try to re-sign him, but IMO even that is dangerous business, no matter what Hamels says to the press.

    It seems the Phils have to very quickly make the decision to either give in to the years requested or let him test the waters.

  10. TheDipsy

    July 10, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    IMO is Hamels is SO attractive (more attractive than Lee was) that he will command a few top prospects. Kinda like what we gave up for Doc. Maybe a smidge less. He is that good. If he goes to contending team, they almost certainly will become favorites.

    The Dipsy

    • George

      July 10, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      The Phils also got some cash in the Halladay deal, and they were only making the move because they knew they could get Doc to sign an extension. It’s not a good comparison.

      And although Hamels is younger than Lee, and possibly better, a team would only be guaranteed a half season of Hamels, whereas the Phils got one-and-a-half of Lee. If Hamels is traded, I think the Phils will only get one top prospect and a couple of “maybes.” That’s been the case in nearly every mid-season trade lately, with the exception of Amaro’s wacky overpay for Pence.

  11. hot dog

    July 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Boy it seems really nice of Cole to get out of Dodge when the going gets tough. What he needs to say I am a Phillie now and I will pitch my best to turn the season around. How many complete games does he have? Everyone seems fine with the idea of giving up on the season and pat Cole on the back because he will give the Phills a fair shot in free agency. That is unacceptable. If he wants to get paid like a Big Boy he needs to be a team leader not tell the boys I’m outta here when the going gets tough. If this is acceptable to management maybe they will refund my partial ticket plan. If they are going to give up it is only fair. I will even be willing to come back next year maybe.

    • George

      July 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      I haven’t read one Hamels statement that he “wants to get out of Dodge.” I haven’t even read one where he said he wanted to be off the team. He’s only indicated that he’d be okay with the decision if the front office traded him in an attempt to improve the team.

      His record speaks for itself; he’s the only Phils starter who has pitched well under adverse circumstances. If that isn’t “leading” I don’t know what is.

      Also, If he really wanted out, he’d demand a trade.

      It’s alright if you hate Hamels, but try not to let that affect your reading comprehension.

  12. TheDipsy

    July 10, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    You are right psuJoe!

    The Dipsy

  13. Manny

    July 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    You HAVE to give this team a chance to turn things around. Odds are not on our side, but 5 consecutive division championships should be enough to give them the benefit of the doubt and the opportunity to save this season.

    Look at our rotation post-All-Star-break: Lee, Worley, Hamels, Blanton, Halladay… and things look a lot better (just by replacing Kendrick with one of the game’s best). Bullpen gets to hit the reset button. Utley and Howard are now back. You gotta give this group a chance.

    Keep the team as is and perhaps bring in a new guy to stabilize the bullpen from now on. Only make a trade if a team wows you with legit prospects (doubtful). [Perhaps trading Victorino is the one move that could hurt us the least, but we all know he’s not as bad as he’s been this season… thus we’d be selling low –not ideal.]

    • George

      July 10, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      Good thoughts. This season may not be salvageable, but I think they may at least get to .500 or near that. Next year should be much better, provided Utley can play decently.

      Speaking of bringing in a guy to stabilize the bullpen, I just read that J.C Romero is now available. (I put that in for laughs.)

  14. Jeff

    July 10, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    Get rid of lee. Problem is he has to much money coming to him.
    Get rid of Polly. He doesnt want a cracker.
    Trade Vic for cash.
    Trade Chooch..Yes chooch. Here is why baby. Three good years left in him. He is having his best year ever. FLUKE. You can get some talent back right now.
    Trade Pence. To bad of a fielder and horrible free swinger.
    Build the pen up.
    Get rid of Joe Blow and Kendrick.

    Clean it up baby. Go after Josh H. in the offseason

  15. Jaron B

    July 10, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Hey, Amaro and Boggs are still stuck on four and six years but agree on $24MM per year? HAHAHA – THAT’S A PATHETIC EFFORT, RUBE!!! Those are the same figures they had in the off-season. Give Hamels five guaranteed and the sixth year a vesting option already! Let’s get a move on!!! RE-SIGN COLE! RE-SIGN COLE!! RE-SIGN COLE!!!

  16. TheDipsy

    July 10, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    I actually would entertain trading Chooch. I love the guy. He’s having a freak year and he’s cheap. Other teams would give you a lot for him. He’s going to be a 34 year old catcher and that is pretty old. Better a year too early than a year too late. Can someone verify that they are stuck at 4 and 6 years????

    The Dipsy

  17. Andrew From Waldorf

    July 10, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    I guess that there will be no game day for the all star game.
    As it no longer has any meaning to the Phillies at all.

    Sure Id like to re-sign Cole.
    Probably more than any of the old guys Ruben Minaya has saddled with us Cole would be the one guy to sign.

    But you guys need to understand that signing all the old turds is why the Phillies are where they are.

    The ONLY teams more games out in thier division than the Phillies are the Mariners,Cubs and Astros.

    Thats with a 176 000 000 payroll.
    You are grouped with the Mariners Cubs and Astros.

    Just resigning everyone forever is going to lead you no where.
    But Mariner Cub and Astroland.

    Things need to change.
    Instead of resigning Cole Get a new GM.
    And it doesnt count a penny against a luxury tax.

  18. psujoe

    July 10, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Phils are losing because they had 4 BP arms go down Contreras(old), Stutes(Y), Herndon(Y) and Defratus(Y) toss in the two big guns Howard(Y) and Utley(Y) and Galvis(Y) then Halliday(O), Lee(neither), Ruiz(Y), Polanco(O).

    With a solid BP and an upgrade in CF and 3b this team wins high 90’s next year.

  19. Lefty

    July 10, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    So let me get this straight. Because Buster Pu sey doesn’t want to catch the knuckleball, Ruiz may end up looking bad? It wasn’t an insult enough that Pu sey was elected over Chooch, now he has to do the heavy lifting too?

    • Andrew From Waldorf

      July 10, 2012 at 11:12 pm

      You always have a chip on your shoulder!
      Relax and enjoy the game.

      You can come here every day and read about how an ancient crippled team on pace to lose 93 games this year will win 98 next year with the same players( a year older) . Minus hamels.

      And think of it this way if they make the World series this year they will have home field!
      Woo hoo.

      It was the difference vs the Giants and Cardinals the last 2 years for sure.

      Enjoy the rest of the season.
      Mid season shout out to Lefty, Dipsy , Brooks and Chuck A.
      My long term PN buddies.
      Beers on me if they win the world series and we meet up the parade this year.

  20. artemis

    July 10, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Hamels has always been everyone’s favorite. Here in Phillies is where he won his World Series Ring (hopefully the first of many) and MVP in the same WS, that won’t be easy to forget or set aside in terms of loyalty. That’s why his stay is something we are all looking forward to, including himself I think.

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