Lee Relates to Hamels

Cliff Lee is one of the few people in the world who can truly relate to Cole Hamels‘ upcoming free agency.

He spoke about that today, as Hamels’ agent is in town talking to the Phillies about an extension. The sides are not close and an agreement is not expected before the end of spring training, if one happens at all. These talks will be difficult. Why? Because Hamels’ agent would not be doing his job if he were not trying to get Hamels a contract worth more than $100 million, and the Phillies already have tons of money committed over the next several seasons. Looking at things from the outside and not knowing how much money the Phillies have to spend, it would seem difficult to not only meet the demands of Hamels, but Shane Victorino, who becomes a free agent following this season, and Hunter Pence, who becomes a free agent following 2013.

Can they keep all of them? It will be very, very difficult.

The Phillies already have $109.85 million committed to eight players next season: Lee ($25 million), Roy Halladay ($20 million), Ryan Howard ($20 million), Chase Utley ($15 million), Jonathan Papelbon ($13 million), Jimmy Rollins ($11 million), Kyle Kendrick ($4.5 million) and Laynce Nix ($1.35 million). And that’s not counting club options for Carlos Ruiz, etc. They have $94 million committed to Lee, Halladay, Howard, Papelbon and Rollins in 2014; and $74 million committed to Lee, Howard, Papelbon and Rollins in 2015.

Let’s say Hamels wants $20 million per season from the Phillies. Let’s say Victorino wants $12 million. Let’s say Pence wants $15 million. That’s $47 million for the three (and that’s probably a low figure, if you think about what they could get if they hit the open market). That puts the Phillies’ 2014 payroll at $141 million for just seven players. So what? Well, none of those players are a catcher, second baseman or third baseman. There are bullpen jobs, bench jobs and possibly a starting pitcher or two to find, too. I’m not saying the Phillies will not resign Hamels, but it will not be easy. And it might mean they have to lose talented players elsewhere, something Victorino acknowledged recently.

Stay tuned …

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Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!

24 Comments

Other than their sunglasses contracts, they’re exactly the same.

I realize that there are no teams that can meet everyone’s demands. However, the Phillies are anything but strapped right now, and in a couple years when their contract with comcast is up for renewal, they will hit the jackpot. The Phillies TV ratings are thru the roof and slaughtering any and all competition. So they ain’t hurtin. And besides they can always do what the Colts are doing in pro football. They can sign both Cole and Shane to a nice contract and then when it comes time to anty up, they can come up limp. You can’t blame the players today they learned from their ownership.

Do what the Colts are doing? What part of “guaranteed contract” don’t you understand? The Colts don’t owe Manning a penny.

You fit right in here with the “Phillies print money at CBP” school of thought.

pherris, why must you insist on proving time and time again that you are devoid of critical thinking skills? Is it that, or are you just stupid? You obviously come from the “bumper sticker” school of thought and you make George Bush and Sarah Palin sound like intellectual giants by comparison.

I say, mixed metaphor not withstanding, damn the torpedos, ger her done.

Why can’t we be the Yankees of the NL East? Lux Tax all day, son!

QuarterWhit, why are you getting your knickers in a knot? If you look closely above, I am responding to Pete Riley. I said nothing of the fact that you were one of the biggest proponents of the “Phillies print money at CBP” school of thought. But, I guess the cat is out of the bag now. Have you changed your stand on this issue like your hero, Mitt Romney, changes his on everything?

2nd bad outing by Dontrelle Willis. Could be the end of the road for him, and Misch got knocked around as well. Still looking for that last lefty in the bullpen. I wonder if Scott Eyre is still in shape?

phan52: Much as I liked Scott Eyre, I think he’s past his prime. Should’ve keep Lidge if you ask me.

I was being facetious about Eyre, karen, but they still need a lefty. If they kept Lidge it would have been in place of Qualls.

Todd, I have to admit I didn’t like your “live chat” Q&A. There are a lot of phans who really like and respect you, here and on the boards under your articles. I’d much rather see you answer a question from muleman, phan52, or pherrisphain or one of the many phans on the boards here at MLB.com. Answering questions from phans who don’t even read your articles is not fair to the ones who do. The Q&A mailbox is much better, IMO.

ErichH1: Pherris answers all my questions. ;-)

True.

I do my best to help the handicapped.

Forgot about Qualls. Hopefully, he’s an upgrade. Think Willis is toast.

I agree, Karen. It’s a mystery where all that talent went…..

Karen: Look up Willis’ career. He really only had that one great Near-Cy Young Award year.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/w/willido03.shtml

Otherwise, he’s a sub-.500 pitcher. Hard to figure. He’s a great guy and all, and I root for him, but he looks like he’s done.

So I guess the year Willis won the ROY and, along with the Marlins, won a WS was a shabby year? And, lets get this straight, winning percentage now does count for something? Willis’ had a respectable body of work for his first five years at the end of which he was only 26. .

There’s a new blog about the D-Train that just got posted.

I bet you easily succumbed to peer pressure and bullies when you were a kid. Grow up and grow a set.

When Dontrelle Willis was 26 years old, he had just come off a season where he was arguably the worst starting pitcher in the NL. Since 2005, he has been an oft-injured mediocrity. All evidence points to the end of a career. Too bad, as he is a character and very popular in the clubhouse.
You know pherris, you can look this stuff up.

What’s your point? Mine was that Willis had a decent five year run even if 2006 is included in the run. He was actually more than a one year wonder as your identical twin asserts when ever he gets a chance. And history indicates he was finished at 25. Interestingly, in the worst year to which you refer, he led the NL with 35 starts. He has been “oft-injured mediocrity” since the run. Get my drift now, QuarterWhit?

LOL!! So, because he started 35 games, it’s irrelevent that he had a WHIP of 1.597, had an ERA of 5.17 and gave up more earned runs than every other pitcher in the NL.
Thankfully, You and I have different standards of success. Keep up the good work though, Cher. You completed my point.

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