Cole Hamels agreed to terms on a contract extension with the Phillies that will pay him $144 million over six years. Looks like the biggest move of the trade deadline [puts on sunglasses] … wasn't a trade at all.
The deal is the second-largest ever for a pitcher, topping Johan Santana's six-year, $137.5 million pact with the Mets and trailing only CC Sabathia's seven-year, $161 contract with the Yankees.
This is a market-value deal. Hamels will make the same annual salary as Phillies co-ace Cliff Lee, and he's three years younger than Lee was when he signed his deal. It's about $2.5 million more per year than the Giants gave Matt Cain in April, which makes sense, since Hamels was nearly four months closer to free agency than Cain was.
And that's what this deal was about: A preemptive strike against Hamels hitting the open market, where he might've been overwhelmed by offers from other teams. The Dodgers just agreed to give up a real prospect and pay nearly $40 million for 2? years of a player who's created multiple clubhouse distractions, can't field, and hasn't been a significantly above-average hitter since 2010 (granted, their lineup was one step away from bringing back Pedro Guerrero and Kenny Landreaux). What would have stopped them from shooting the moon for Hamels? The smart money would've been on them (or another team) to match or even top Sabathia's record deal.
Phillies Get Cole in Their Early Christmas Stocking
Grantland | Jul 25