Results tagged ‘ Jered Weaver ’

Hamels’ Next Deal: Think Lee, Not Weaver

The Phillies and Cole Hamels today agreed to a one-year, $15 million contract, which allowed them to avoid salary arbitration.

Next up? The Phillies and Hamels’ agent John Boggs will talk about a multiyear extension.

“We can negotiate with Cole from today through the end of November, and then beyond that to get a multiyear deal done,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “Just because we have a one-year deal in place doesn’t mean we can’t do something long term. As far as Cole beyond 2012, that’s something that’s still very much open for discussion.”

Hamels is line for a major payday, but how large remains to be seen.

But think Cliff Lee more than Jered Weaver.

Weaver signed a five-year, $85 million contract extension last summer with the Angels, but Weaver bypassed free agency partly because he wanted to stay in Southern California and play for his hometown team. Weaver and Hamels have remarkably similar career statistics, so it is easy to think Hamels might be paid in that range: Hamels is 77-54 with a 3.39 ERA in 181 career appearances. He has a 1.141 WHIP and averages 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings. Weaver is 82-47 with a 3.31 ERA in 171 career appearances. He has a 1.165 WHIP and averages 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings.

But Boggs said this afternoon the Weaver deal is a “non-starter” in negotiations, which I assume the Phillies already know.

“It would be natural to look at that as a comparison,” he said. “Jered signed for his own personal reasons – and I applaud him for that – but it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to follow the same standard. Everybody is different. For Jered to sign there it doesn’t mean that’s the template we’re going to follow.”

Lee signed a five-year, $120 million contract with the Phillies in Dec. 2010. That certainly seems to be a better measuring stick for Hamels, right?

“Absolutely,” Boggs said. “If you’re this close to free agency, you start to make comparables of what you have the potential of making as a free agent.”

Lee signed his deal at 32. Hamels is 28. It stands to reason Hamels will be looking for a contract worth $20 million or more per season.

Reason to be nervous if you’re a Phillies fan? Not yet. There seems to be genuine interest on both sides to reach an agreement. Finalizing Hamels’ 2012 contract could have been the first step.

“The goal was to get that out of the way,” Boggs said. “I’m sure down the road we’ll have a conversation about moving forward. We plan on keeping the discussions open. It’s a process.”

Boggs said he hasn’t talked to Hamels about setting any potential deadline regarding negotiations, which some players have done in the past.

“At the end of the day we really don’t have any concrete game plan as far as how long we are going to plan on discussing this,” Boggs said. “That will be decided at some point shortly, or as we get into the process. But there’s definitely a desire to stay. At the end of the day it really depends on the value we place on Cole, and hopefully it coincides with the value the Phillies place on Cole. That’s the reason you have a negotiation. From a basic desire, yes, he’d be more than happy to stay there. He knows the Phillies. He’s homegrown. That’s what we’ll attempt to do, but sometimes things don’t work out if we can’t agree on the value.”

New Deal? Hamels Isn’t Worried

Had a chance to talk to Cole Hamels for a few minutes last night at the Four Seasons in Center City, where Charlie Manuel was named Magee Rehabilitation Hospital’s 2011 Humanitarian of the Year.

(Aside: Following Jonathan Papelbon‘s news conference on Monday at Citizens Bank Park, I kidded Manuel about being named Humanitarian of the Year. I said, “Charlie, you’re always getting honored by somebody.” He said, “Hey, man, I used to get roasted. They used to put salt and pepper on me and roast me.”

Everybody is wondering what’s going to happen with Hamels, and understandably so. He made $9.5 million in 2011, and is eligible for salary arbitration one final time before becoming a free agent following the 2012 season. There is mutual interest in signing Hamels to a multiyear extension, but nothing has happened so far. That shouldn’t be particularly alarming. Not yet.

“My whole philosophy is: I don’t fear trying to sign something quickly because of the fear of failure or getting injured,” Hamels said. “I’ve had a serious injury. I broke my arm in high school and they said I would never throw again. I overcame that, so I think I can overcome anything. I’ll never have regrets or what ifs. I just know if I can play and do a really good job it’ll take care of itself.”

Signing Hamels could be tricky.

Angels ace Jered Weaver signed a five-year, $85 million contract extension during the season. His career numbers are very similar to Hamels’. But the longer Hamels goes without an extension and the better he pitches in 2012 his price goes up. Hamels could be (should be?) looking for $100 million or more. The New York Mets signed Johan Santana to a six-year, $137.5 million contract in Feb. 2008, nine months before he would have become a free agent. The nine-month mark for Hamels is Feb. 2012. But the notable difference is Santana was a two-time Cy Young winner at the time. But while Hamels doesn’t have a couple Cy Youngs, he does have a World Series MVP trophy and is considered one of the best pitchers (not just left-handers) in baseball.

So the question becomes how far are the Phillies willing to go?

They already have committed $89.5 million to Ryan Howard, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Chase Utley and Jonathan Papelbon in 2013. That doesn’t include a raise to Hunter Pence, who will be eligible for salary arbitration, or other multiyear deals the Phillies sign this offseason (Jimmy Rollins? Michael Cuddyer? Both?).

The Phillies will have to decide how many mega multiyear contracts they can handle.

A big thing in Hamels’ favor is he will be just 28 next season. Halladay turns 35 in May. Lee turns 34 in August. The Phillies would like to have Hamels a piece of their rotation for the foreseeable future because Halladay and Lee won’t be around forever. Although with two (possibly three) more seasons with Halladay and four (possibly five) more seasons with Lee, Phillies fans hope it’s not for a long time.

The Phillies are focused on Rollins and other 2012 roster decisions at the moment. In the past, the Phillies have waited until January to sign their own players to extensions (i.e. Shane Victorino, Ryan Madson and Joe Blanton). The same could happen here, but Hamels sees how the top pitchers in baseball are paid. He just needs to look around his own clubhouse.

“You get into money like this, which you never possibly imagined … I think as long as you’re compensated in the category that you’re playing, then can’t ever have any sort of hard feelings or any regrets,” he said.

I also spoke with Hamels about his recovery from offseason surgeries. Read the story here.

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Hamels Not Thinking About Contract Extension

The moment Jered Weaver agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract extension with the Angels, the Phillies must have wondered how it would impact their future negotiations with Cole Hamels.

Weaver was eligible to become a free agent following the 2012 season, just like Hamels is. Weaver is 78-45 with a 3.30 ERA in 170 career starts. Hamels is 73-52 with a 3.39 ERA in 174 starts. Weaver averages 7.9 strikeouts per nine innings, while Hamels averages 8.5. Weaver has a 3.19 strikeout-to-walk ratio, while Hamels’ is 3.72.

Statistically, they are incredibly similar.

But Hamels swore Weaver’s deal barely registered on his radar.

“I just want to play,” he said this afternoon. “That’s why I have an agent. He’ll take care of the rest. If I go out and play and I’m comfortable, good things will happen. That’s all I can affect. It’s a situation where it’s your choice and when the time comes people make choices. I think I’m more focused on trying to win a World Series right now with these guys. That’s been the only thing on my mind this year.”

Asked if prefers to stay in Philadelphia, he said, “I don’t know any better. I’ve had great memories here. That’s the thing. This team wants to win. This organization wants to win. I want to win. I think it’s a perfect fit.”

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