Hamels addresses final year of his contract and his future
Cole Hamels says there is no timeline for reaching a long-term contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, but he hopes that his agent and Ruben Amaro Jr. remain in contact while he continues to focus on producing on the field. For Hamels, all that maters most in 2012 is getting back to and winning the World Series.
"All I ultimately want to do is play for a winning team, and the Phillies want to be a winning team," Hamels said Monday.
Hamels is entering the final year of his current contract, worth $15 million. He signed the one-year contract in January to avoid arbitration. With Hamels suggesting he would like to stay in Philadelphia, and the Phillies looking to reciprocate the feeling, the chances appear pretty good that Hamels will work out a contract with the Phillies, whether it is a long-term deal or another multi-year deal.
Hamels will be the third highest pitcher in the Phillies' projected starting rotation with Cliff Lee being paid $21.5 million and Roy Halladay being paid $20 million this season. The contract most in the industry point to as a potential model for what Hamels may ultimately sign is Jared Weaver, of the Los Angeles Angels. Weaver signed a five year contract worth $85 million last August, netting him $20 million in the final year of his contract. Hamels could potentially make more as salaries increase for premier players, especially those on the mound.
The Phillies have three pitchers who would be legitimate ace pitchers on any other team, or close to it. Hamels was that guy on this staff before the acquisitions of Lee, Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Lee (uhh, again). If you took a temperature of what Hamels wants today, it is not necessarily to be the main guy on the mound. Hamels never shied away from wanting to be the best at his position, even referencing Tim Lincecum's individual accolades at one point when comparing himself to other star pitchers. Hamels says he is a hard working competitor, and few would intelligently argue that concept after one of his finest seasons in the big leagues with a career low in ERA (2.79), and dropping his walks allowed (from 61 in 2010 to 44 in 2011) and home runs allowed (from 26 in 2010 to 19 in 2011).
Hamels does not appear to be going anywhere, and that should be great news for Phillies fans. That should mean two more full seasons of Halladay, Lee and Hamels guaranteed. Halladay's contract expires after the 2013 season, but has a 2014 option.
"[The Phillies] have always done a good job of keeping the guys they want to keep," Hamels said. "I just hope I'm one of them."
Hamels recovering from surgery
Hamels underwent a pair of surgeries following the conclusion of the 2011 season, to fix bone chips in his elbow and a hernia issue. Asked if the elbow injury was bothering him toward the end of the season, including his final start in game three of the National League Division Series against the eventual World Series champion St. Louis Carindals. Hamels said he was not comfortable in that start, but gave credit to St. Louis for making him work.
Hamels pitched six innings, allowed five hits and walked three batters but struck out eight and did not allow a run. The Phillies took a 2-1 series lead when Ben Francisco hit a three-run home run and held on for the 3-2 victory.
"I feel a lot better today," Hamels said, saying that he felt as close to 100 percent as possible.
On a less serious note, we decided to keep an unofficial count of how many times Hamels used the verbal crutch he is known to say from time to time, "You know." Hamels is already in mid-season form, saying "You know" 114 times according to this unofficial count, which may have a margin of error of 3.5.
If anyone can verify this, please do!
Photos: Jamie Squire/Getty Images, Macho-Row.com
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