Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says he’s hearing rumblings the Phillies will over Cole Hamels a contract of $130 million over six seasons in a last-ditch effort to keep him before the trade deadline. Heyman said previously the Phillies would offer $120 million, but that seemed a little low by my calculations.
Cain signed a $112.5-million, five-year extension this spring on top of his $15-million 2012 salary, meaning the Giants had $127.5 million in commitments to him. With that in mind, Hamels’ first offer from the Phillies might be for exactly $127.5 million. Or it could be for a bit more if they feel adjustments are needed based on their initial, unofficial talks with Hamels in the past couple of days. The figure is unlikely to be less.
The Phillies are said to be very committed to trying to bring back Hamels, and it’s quite possible $127.5 million or thereabouts may only be an opening plan. The numbers may well go up from there.
The Phillies want to have a resolution to the Hamels situation within a week or so because if they can’t extend Hamels they will want to have the option to trade him by the July 31 trade deadline. The Rangers, Angels, Dodgers and many other teams will be interested if he’s available in trade.
As you can see, Matt Cain’s new deal is obviously just a starting point. Heyman mentions it can only go up from there. I’ve long thought that it won’t nearly be enough, that the Phillies will have to get close to 6 years, $140-145 million to get Hamels to sign RIGHT NOW.
Think about it; there is no reason for Hamels to sign unless A) he is worried about his health between now and free agency, or B) he is blown away by an offer. Free agency will only stand to increase his value on the market as teams like the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, and other could get involved and try to outbid the Phillies.