Posted on: March 7, 2012 1:59 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 2:32 pm
The Phillies better lock up Cole Hamels, and they better do it before he becomes a free agent after this season. A quick survey of three agents, none with ties to Hamels, revealed that they believe Hamels would garner between $150 million and $175 million as a free agent.
Here are the guesses of the three agents (of course, keep in mind these are not management guesses):
--$168 million, seven years
--$150 million to $175 million
--$150 million to $160 million
Hamels professed his love for Philadelphia and keen interest in remaining a Phillie earlier this spring, and his words aren't the usual hollow tripe, as he resides in Philly year-round even though he hails from beautific San Diego.
Hamels' longtime agent, John Boggs, is visiting Clearwater and talking to Phillies management, and there seems to be some hope for a deal even if nothing appears imminent. Not too much is being said by the Phillies, but it is hard to imagine Philly, a team that is quite generous with its core players, letting him slip away.
If he does go, some figure the new Dodgers owner, whoever that may be, might want to make a splash by luring the Southern California product.
This deal is not going to be cheap either way. One of the agents surveyed said that as a free agent Hamels is sure to use as comps the past deals from the elite left-handed pitching market, meaning CC Sabathia's $161-million, seven-year deal (Sabathia added one year and $30 million this winter, thanks to his opt-out clause), Cliff Lee's $148-million, seven-year Yankees offer (he took $120 million over five from the Phillies instead) and to a degree Johan Santana's $137.5-million, six-year deal, though that deal is a few years old.
The Phillies should be able to get a bit of a discount on a Hamels deal since he wants to stay to play for a perennially winning team that sells out and has created buzz around the city. But the Phillies shouldn't mess around here. The key to their team are the three ace pitchers, and the other two are on the wrong side of 33. Lee is 33 and Roy Halladay will be 35 in May.
Hamels, only 28, is practically a necessity for Philly.