Ruben Amaro Jr. knows Cole Hamels should have been resigned before the season begun.The two sides have been constantly discussing a contract extension since Christmas but the deal has made as little progress.
Hamels got dinged up by an inconsistent Miami Marlins squad in his first start of the year, but regardless the California native is going to be getting a big payday when a contract is finally inked. Based off his numbers last year Hollywood deserves to be paid like the ace he would be on a lot of other ball clubs.
He didn’t set an opening day deadline for an extension and with the season in motion it’s hard to believe that he is thinking about anything other than his cutter, which was added to his repertoire during preseason. In order for the Phillies to gain his attention the deal must be substantial enough to veer him off of his in-season concentration.
The San Francisco Giants didn’t make Amaro Jr.’s job much easier when they signed Matt Cain through 2017 with a $139.75-million contract. The Giants righty had two less wins than Hamels and a higher ERA, which means the Phils need to at least match the contract that is set to pay Cain $15-million for the 2012 season.
The Phillies don’t have a time table for the negotiations, but if they don’t sign Hollywood to the extension he deserves by the trade deadline don’t expect to see his signature at the bottom of a contract before free agency begins. Should Hamels wait until free agency to sign the Phillies will find themselves in a bidding war for the 28-year-old.
Philadelphia has spent a lot of money on big names as of late, which is the reason may cause some concern in negotiations with the fourteen game winner. Halladay and Lee are under contract to make over $40-million, while Utley, Rollins and Howard combine for $46-million. Victorino’s contract will also expire at the end of the year and he should be looking for about a five year deal to fall back on.
Despite having the second highest team salary in baseball ($174-million), Amaro Jr. is optimistic that a deal can be made that would bring Hollywood back to Philly for a few more seasons. In an interview with MLB.com the Phils’ GM said he could afford to have three $20-million pitchers on his payroll.
If the Phillies wait for Hamels to be a free agent to cut a deal, everyone is going to be throwing money at the lefty. As long as Philadelphia wins the East this year, Hollywood has no reason not to resign. After all who doesn’t want to play for a winning team?