UPDATE, 7:47 am: Bob Nightengale says there is likely a seventh-year vesting option that could push the contract to over $160 million.
Big time investment.
Fox Sports was the first to have the report, and now the contract details are trickling in on the Cole Hamels deal.
Jon Heyman from CBSSports.com says the deal is six years, $144 million. (By the way – kudos to Jim Salisbury from CSNphilly.com for nailing the dollar amount with an educated guess a few days ago).
I’ve long believed it would be in this range, but it’s a ton of money locked into yet another pitcher. Any more than 6/144 is really pushing the limits of how far they can go.
For Hamels, he seemed to be mulling this offer for a bit while attempting to weigh the pros and cons of leaving such a deal on the table to head to free agency. Taking the deal means he gets to stay in the only city he’s known professionally.
As for the fans, there can be no complaints about this. The Phillies could ill afford to lose their youngest, and now best, ace to another team, while Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay begin to show some age. In the future, if this deal becomes an albatross (which it shouldn’t, but you never know with pitchers) the fans have no room to bash it. Amaro locked him into place, which is exactly what he needed to do.
Now, the dirty work begins for Amaro. He can now look past this and focus on making the Phillies better for the remainder of 2012 and beyond. I believe they’ll be both buyers and sellers before the July 31 trade deadline.