UPDATE, 6:13 am Friday: Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that a source says the Phillies will make a “sizable offer” to Hamels to see if they can keep him around for now and the future.
Reports have mentioned previously that the Phillies know it will cost them upwards of $24 million per season, but the sticking point is in the guaranteed years. Hamels, and agent John Boggs, is seeking six or seven years while the Phillies seem to be in the four-to-five year range.
If anything, this is good news that the Phillies understand the importance of locking up their prized left arm. But at what point does it become too long a contract for a pitcher?
(update by Pat Gallen)
Buster Olney filled in as host of Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio this morning and spoke at length about the Cole Hamels situation. Olney has written about Hamels frequently this year, as he is a homegrown ace on a team built around pitching who may prove too costly for the Phillies as a result of other expensive personnel decisions.
He has championed the idea of Hamels pitching for the Dodgers next year, as Magic Johnson and the new ownership group will look to make a splash.
However, according to Olney, the Phillies are in the process of making a big push on a lucrative extension that will keep Hamels in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future.
Olney believes that the Phillies are likely preparing a final extension offer to present to Hamels and agent John Boggs. Though Hamels has mentioned a desire to test free agency, he has made it clear that the Phillies are his first choice. He has stated in recent interviews that he would give the Phillies the last shot to sign him if he does reach free agency and receive other offers, and that the same would hold true even if he were traded this season.
If the Phillies and Hamels can’t reach an agreement in the next 72 hours, Olney believes that Amaro will pick up the phone and begin to pursue trade opportunities. We’ll know more about his future over the next few days. Tomorrow, we’ll take an in-depth look at what a long-term extension with Hamels would mean for the rest of the roster over the next few seasons.