Last offseason, Cole Hamels expressed disappointment that he wasn’t reaping larger benefits monteraily. He said:
“I felt like it wasn’t necessarily equal compensation for what I do and for what I can do.”
At the time I wrote that Hamels needed to prove himself over a full season — without injury — to earn his buck.
He’s earned his buck.
Hamels threw more than 220 innings in the 2008 regular season, then another 35 in the postseason. Add in 30 or so exhibition innings during Spring Training, and Hamels threw close to 300 innings in 2008. With no injury.
That alone would be enough for Hamels to merit a longterm contract. His performance — both in the regular season and in the postseason — is merely icing on the fat, green cake Hamels should be eating soon. He ripped off one of the greatest postseason pitching performances ever, winning four of his five games and both the NLCS and World Series MVP awards. The 24-year-old deserves a raise.
How much? I’d like the Phils to go six years on Hamels, maybe at the overall price of $90M in an escalation deal. Throw in a 2015 option for $20M, and that would suffice for a man who is — debatably — the best pitcher in baseball.