This could be the most positive news to come about regarding Cole Hamels and the contract talks with the Phillies. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com says talks have intensified between the two sides as the Phillies look to lock up their ace before the trade deadline, and well before he can hit free agency this winter.
The Philadelphia Phillies and Cole Hamels’ agent, John Boggs, have picked up the pace of discussions in recent days, sources said, and those intensified discussions are an indication the Phillies have started a major push to sign Hamels before the July 31 trade deadline.
Meanwhile, clubs that have been speaking with the Phillies say the team has essentially put trade talks on hold, and have been much more focused on signing the 28-year-old lefthander than on dealing him before the deadline.
“They want to sign him, and that’s their priority,” said an official of one club that spoke with the Phillies’ brass this week. “They’re really not even entertaining (trade) offers at this point.”
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com noted yesterday that the team was preparing to offer a contract north of $130 million over six seasons. I’ve long thought that something more like six years, $140 million would be apropo. If the Phillies are lucky, and Ruben Amaro shrewd enough, perhaps a five-year deal with two option years that vest with innings pitched or belong to the player, etc., is a possibility. This is all just guesswork.
Still, the two sides appear to be working hard to keep Hamels in Philadelphia long-term.
My question to you is; how much is too much? Are you open to the Phillies opening up their wallet to no end, or is there a limit they should spend on Hamels?