Pat Gillick said he’s baffled by the recent rash of teams locking up their young stars. In the past year, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Scott Kazmir, Hanley Ramirez. Miguel Cabrera, James Shields, Troy Tulowitzki and Evan Longoria have all signed long-term extensions with their teams.
Kazmir was extended for four years and $28.5MM with a fifth-year option at $11MM. Many believe that sets the bar for Hamels, who, with more time and success, should get more money.
Then there’s Howard. Struggles this year aside, he’ll demand probably $15MM or so this year in arbitration, and a long-term deal would see him winning about $20MM and more per year. A six-year, $150MM deal isn’t out of the question.
Gillick said he won’t be locking these two up before he steps down as Phillies general manager at the end of the season:
“We’re not afraid to pay. [But] we don’t need to talk extension. We’ve got the guy for another five years [including the rest of ’08]. Maybe when I’m not here it might happen. But right now it isn’t going to happen.”
Yeah, we got Hamels for five years and Howard for another three, but as the years progress the potential contracts should only get meatier, as long as Hamels and Howard continue to remain stars.
I can see where Gillick errs on the side of caution, since so many young players falter quickly, even before they reach their primes. But to come out publicly and say there’s no way a deal will even be considered this season? That’s selling your organization and fans right down the river. That’s upsetting the Hamels and Howard camps. And that’s downright bad business.
For Gillick it doesn’t matter because he won’t be here after October. But for everyone else?
Great job, Pat.