Amaro Discuses Hamels Speculation

If Phillies fans think speculation about Cole Hamels is hot today, just wait a couple weeks.

Ruben Amaro Jr. said today the Phillies remain optimistic they can sign Hamels to a contract extension, despite indications the parties are not close to an agreement. He also downplayed multiple reports the Phillies are calling teams to gauge interest in Hamels, in the event they decide to make a move as the teams falls further and further from contention in the National League.

The Phillies are 36-45, their worst record through 81 games since 1997.

“It’s a matter of having good players, including Cole and others, who are outstanding All-Star caliber players,” Amaro said about the reports involving Hamels. “And teams who are contenders have an interest in them. That’s how it works. It’s a product of the time and circumstance.”

Hamels will command a monster deal if he hits the free agent market. Certainly he should get more than the five-year, $120 million contract Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies in Dec. 2010, considering his talents and age.

Hamels is just 28.

“I’ve never had any indication at all, to be frank with you, that the goals haven’t remained the same on both sides,” Amaro said. “One, a club that wants to continue to have the player. Two, the player that — I believe – has given no indication that he wants to leave.”

Asked Saturday in Miami if the Phillies’ losing ways could impact his decision in the offseason, Hamels said, “I’m not even thinking about that. I’m trying to not lose. Like today. I’ve got a game in five days, so that’s all my focus.”

The front office could take that answer one of two ways: Hamels did not answer the question because he simply does not want to talk about his contract situation, or Hamels did not answer the question because he did not want to give an honest answer.

Amaro would not comment on where negotiations stand with Hamels, although reported the Phillies will make one more push to sign him before they seriously consider trading him.

“I have no indication at all that anything is too late for anything,” Amaro said. “We stay optimistic that we’re going to keep him in our uniform. And that’s the bottom line. Whether we can do it or not, I don’t know, but we stay optimistic that we will.”

But if the Phillies continue to lose, they will have to start thinking about retooling for next season. Hamels could get quite a haul. Trades involving Shane Victorino, Hunter Pence and others also could change the dynamic and chemistry of the clubhouse.

“Those are things that we may have to think about down the road,” Amaro said. “But they’re not what we’re actively trying to do now.

“Our goal will always be the same: it is to be a contender this year and beyond and to keep Cole Hamels in our uniform as long as he possibly can after 2012. I think our best chance to continue to be a contender is with him and not without him. We don’t comment on all this stuff, but the one thing I can say about it is this is a product of the time of year, the fact we’re not playing well and that we have very, very good players people will speculate and ask about.”

Everybody is taking heat for the Phillies’ losing ways, including Charlie Manuel. Amaro said about Manuel: “He has done a fantastic job. We haven’t played well.”


Sign him. End of Story. Dont let him hit free agency

For God’s sake and ours, sign him now.

He has all the bargaining chips. Why would he not test the waters? No way he’ll sign.

Why would Hamels sign with the Phillies? They’ll be rebuilding for years to come due to age and injuries. Hamels could sigh with a young contender for the same money in the Fall and have fun over the next 5-7 years.

The Dodgers stunk last year and the Diamondbacks two years prior…it doesn’t take long to bounce back. Sign Hamels, fix the outfield, and we are good to go for many years to come.

The phillies would do better if they tried to win and not trying “to not lose”. Better attitude, better results

He’s too cute to lose!!! (sigh)

They need to stop waiting! Stop waiting on Howard and Doc! Stop waiting for the second half! Stop waiting for the other teams to lose! Stop waiting for a trade! PLAY THE GAMES LIKE THEY MATTER! All of them!

Why would anyone believe anything Amaro says? He’s the one that got us into this mess. I wouldn’t want him making decisions about my team.

This is on Amaro–he built the 2012 team on a lot of “ifs.” “If this player returns healthy; If this player meets expectations; If our bullpen pitches as it did last year…” Well, none of the “Ifs” panned out and you don’t build a championship team in this manner. There is no bullpen and no depth.

I have to agree with you Joe, Amaro signing Howard 2 years earlier than he had to for a hugh sum is and will be a millstone around his neck. I’d much rather have the money to sign Cole even if it means over paying than vastly over pay a declining Ryan Howard.

This is the tomorrow that Ruin Tomorrow, Jr. ruined.

I am guessing that negotiations are done for now. They may very well re-sign Cole Hamels and he may very want to stay a Phillie. But it will not be a hometown discount, and it will not be before he tests the market. He is going to max this thing out, as is his right.

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