Hamels: No Deadline, Wants to Stay

Cole Hamels just finished up his news conference this afternoon at Bright House Field.

Here are a few highlights:

Q: Are you setting a deadline to reach an extension?
A: No. No, I don’t have any deadline. I think the only deadline that is set is by Major Leauge Baseball with (exclusive negotiating rights) five days after the World Series.

Q: So nothing needs to be settled by Opening Day or anything?
A: No, no, no. I’m just going out and getting ready for this year. that’s my main focus. It’s to get as strong as possible throughout spring training and go into the season and try to help this team win. That’s everything I’ve always been able to focus on, especially since we haven’t been back to the World Series in a couple of years, that’s kind of the main focus that I’m going to put every ounce of energy going toward.

Q: In your heart, do you want to be a Phillie for a long time?
A: I was very fortunate enough to be drafted to an organization that is trying to win and obviously has won. Every day, every year we seem to get some top players. So that kind of shows the value and the direction the team wants to go. I’ve just been very fortunate to be a part of it. And it’s also something where I don’t know any better, I live in Philadelphia. I’ve been here for I guess 10 years now, so that’s been something that’s been kind of nice, kind of something I’ve been focused on. It’s a great organization to play for and I’d love to be a part of it.

Q: Are Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee good comparisons for you in terms of your next contract?
A: Those are two guys that are two of the best pitchers in major league baseball and for a substantial amount of years. I think being able to finally given sort of that stage where you feel you know everything but you don’t, I’ve been able to get stronger and a lot more intelligent baseball-wise, that, its just taking the next step to do what those two have done, which is to go out there and repeat, have successful years and stay healthy. That’s ultimately the big picture, to stay healthy, go out, play and help your team. That’s kind of where I’m at right now, to go out there and do it. And if I’m able to do it then things will obviously take care of itself.

Q: Phillies have done a good job of retaining their core players. Does that make you confident things will work out?
A: Ever since I’ve been here they’ve been able to do a really good job of keeping the guys that they draft, especially the guys that they like. I just hope I’m one of those guys that they like.

Q: How do you feel about free agency? Excited? Intrigued?
A: Truly I’ve just never even thought about it. I’ve been so focused on trying to get healthy and because of the way the season ended last year and not being able to go to the World Series and win it with the expectations, I’ve been more fired up about that.

Q: Are you willing to take less to stay here?
A: The only way to answer that is I don’t know any better. All I ultimately want to do is play for a winning team, and the Phillies want to be a winning team. That’s ultimately the best way I can describe what I want to do is I want to play for a winner, and the Phillies want to win. They have two great pitchers that are here. What better way to get mentored by the best of the best? You can’t ask for anything more. To compete at a level where you’re playing with the best players, it ups your game even more and I’ve been able to learn from that and take it into my game.”

Q: How do you weigh potential health issues in your contract negotiations?
A: Baseball if you do it really well you can make a ton of money, but ultimately I play this game because I love to do it and I want to be the best at it. If you’re able to do that, the money obviously comes. But I’m a pretty conservative guy, and money’s not the ultimate answer to anything. It’s really about going out and enjoying where you are, your teammates and the city and I seem to really enjoy Philadelphia.

Q: Given fact you’ve have some nagging injuries over the years, do you view signing later as a risk at all?
A: No, just for the fact that when you do get injured, and I’ve been injured a few times … I guess, yeah, the weird nagging injuries that you don’t really expect, I really haven’t had the serious surgeries. I know how to overcome them. I know how to rehab. I know how to get through them. They’re not going to mentally take me down. I know how to come back and be just as strong or as capable as I always was.

Are they negotiating currently?
I know they’re supposed to. (laughs) That’s all I can say. I know they’re supposed to.

11 Comments

Gotta sign him. He’s still young.and is the future.

It sounded, at times, like the questioner was trying to stir up some stuff. Cole Hamels is a Philly. He’ll get what he needs. Enough is different with different guys.

It did. Cole rose above it like the class act he is.

It is quite obvious from Cole’s answers that he wants to stay here. I think the Phillies and Cole’s representative will work out a deal that benefits them both. Working along Doc and Cliff has only made Cole a better pitcher and he has matured a great deal in the last few years. He is definitely someone that we need to keep as part of the Phillies future.

If the Phillies could somehow manage to sign Cole to an extension before Opening Day, well I just can’t think of a better lift they could give to both Cole and the team. It would be a tremendous way to start the season and it would put a stop to the Yankees and other teams from salivating all over him. A failure to re-sign Hamels could be devastating to the future of this franchise.

“Devastating?” They didn’t sign Rollins pre-season and still got that done. Cole is getting $15 million of arbitration money, and that should be plenty to keep him motivated.
Why is it always “The Yankees?” Did the Yankees get Pujols? Fielder? Papelbon? This Yankees envy is overrated and silly. Were they salivating over Raul Ibanez?

muleman, the Yankees didn’t want or need those players. They are saving their money for pitching and their main targets will be Hamels and Cain. I say, don’t give them the chance.

There are questions concerning both Hamels and Rollins but the similarities stop there. The main questions with Rollins are can he over come recent injuries and maintain a level of excellence he has achieved in past. In other words, how steep will his descent be. With Hamels the question is the degree of his ascent or whether or not there will be further improvement. And if he does not improve, what is his value on a plateau. These considerations drive what the market is willing to pay. Comparing Hamels and Rollins is like comparing apples and oranges.

Yankees on a budget for first time in forever. Until they shed some of the huge contracts they are carrying, they won’t be contenders for top FA’s. That said, watch out for the Dodgers who will have new ownership, new tv contract, and the need to spend cash to fill seats. If COle really wants to stay, and his arm is fixed after surgery, they will sign him to a 5-6 YR deal for $100-$120 million. Who would have thought that the Phillies would be big spenders? Gone are the days of Rudy Carpenter and the other owners.

First things first, it was Ruly and not “Rudy” Carpenter. Ruly took over the Phillies around 1972. He more or less built the team the traditional way which resulted in division winners in 1976, 1977 and 1978. Under his direction, the Phillies took the whole thing for the first time in 1980. The Phillies again made the playoffs in 1981 before Ruly and the Carpenters sold the team and left baseball. However, it is safe to say that the remnants of Ruly’s Phillies returned to the WS in 1983. During Ruly’s tenure Phillies were not tight wads as evidenced by the signing of Pete Rose. F-I-J, you are entitled to your opinion but not the facts.

If it has to be a choice between Shane and Cole, let’s keep Cole and hope Domonic can steal the leftfield job away from everyone next year and hope that Junior will turn into a star this year and play centerfield next year.

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