Saturday, July 21, 2012

Today's contest may be more meaningful than you think: The latest on Cole Hamels

PBR - Today's start could be Cole Hamels' last as a Phillie. 

Yes, recent reports lean toward the Phillies acknowledging Hamels' preference of a six-year deal worth somewhere in the vicinity of $140 million, but nothing is a guarantee. The deal could hit a snag or Hamels could pass on the offer and test the waters in free agency.

Ironically, today he opposes the Giants' Matt Cain, a 27-year-old righthander that signed a six-year $126 million deal with San Francisco in April.

Given the bar the club set in 2010 with signing Cliff Lee to a five-year, $120 million deal, it makes sense Amaro and Co. at least offer a similar deal to Hamels. Several sources have indicated money isn't a sticking point, but the length of the contract is a concern.

The likelihood is the Phillies and Hamels will come to an agreement within the next 72-hours, but if that doesn't happen all bets are off.  Reports yesterday indicated teams already were pulling back on their interest in dealing for Hamels because it appeared to be a given that the Phils were offering him a deal he wouldn't pass up. 
 
A quick statistical analysis shows Hamels' numbers compare favorably to Steve Carlton and Robin Roberts, two Hall of Famers and arguably the two best pitchers in franchise history. It's not often you have a homegrown player of that ilk on your club and today may be his farewell performance at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies are floundering and interest is waning, but today's contest may be one to cherish. 

- Patrick Gordon  is the editor of the Philadelphia Baseball Review. Contact him at pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com or @Philabaseball on Twitter.

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