Cole Hamels Gets Paid $144 Million, Laughs Maniacally

Posted: July 26, 2012 by robcunningham91 in Pro Sports
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Phillies made Cole Hamels a very happy (and rich) man (Courtesy: Philly.com)

By: Rob Cunningham

The Philadelphia Phillies just locked down pitcher Cole Hamels for the next six years at $144 million, the second-richest contract for a hurler in MLB history, behind CC Sabathia. With the move, the Phils prevented their impending free agent from testing the waters come November, and ensures he will spend the prime of his career in the city of brotherly love.

That’s all fine and good, but seriously…$144 million?

There’s no doubt that Hamels is a very good pitcher and the homegrown ace of Philly’s pitching staff. Hell, he led his team to a world championship in 2008, winning MVP honors and looking damn near unbeatable (he technically was with a 4-0 record); but the second-best pitcher in baseball, according to the numbers? Better than the likes of Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, and David Price? No way.

Even though he has a ring, Hamels has never finished above fifth in voting for the Cy Young. That’s fifth in the National League, not all of baseball. He doesn’t have stuff or numbers that amaze you. He doesn’t hit 100 with his fastball. He doesn’t have a filthy 12-6 curve that falls off the table. He does have one of the best changeups in the game, but he’s one of those under-the-radar guys that does his thing and no one really notices.

Would he have gotten that contract on the free agent market? Probably not. To me, this means that, although Hamels has stated before that he loves Philadelphia, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. apparently was not confident enough in the possibility of a “Cliff Lee” scenario. There definitely would have been a trade market for Hamels at the deadline next week. The Phils could have traded him to a bubble contender like the White Sox, the Angels, the Pirates or the Dodgers. Even the Texas Rangers, who are desperate to finally win a championship after being runner-up the past two years. Then, a la Cliff Lee, re-sign him in the offseason when he hits the market. The underachieving Phillies definitely need some depth in their farm system and could have had some good prospects in a trade, essentially for free if they were able to re-sign Hamels. Instead, Amaro made sure Hamels stayed in Philly, but at a very questionable price, and now has Cole and agent John Boggs sounding like this guy.

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