What’s going on with the Phillies?

From the NYPost:

The Phillies have reached a three-year, $20.5 million contract with their ace, Cole Hamels, the Post has learned.

Hamels will receive $4.35 million in 2009, $6.65 million in 2010 and $9.5 million in 2011. Though a long-term contract, this deal buys out none of Hamels’ free-agent seasons.

This deal makes no sense to me. Surely Hamels is the type of player to build around, but isn’t the whole point of buying out a player’s arbitration years to also buy out a free-agent season or two? This deal has almost zero upside for the team. Sure, it’s possible that with a couple more great seasons, Hamels would have ended up earning more than this contract in arbitration, but considering the bonuses that the contract contains, it’s not likely.

What if Hamels suffers an injury or has a down season? Hamels obviously has tremendous talent, but young pitchers who have had his kind of a workload do not have great track records.

Combine this deal with the Ibanez signing and it really hasn’t been a good offseason for the defending champs. Ibanez is a downgrade from Burrell and received a much larger contract (3 years, $30 million) than Burrell did (2 years, $16 million).

What I might find most entertaining though is the Mets fans who commented on the article, angry the Mets didn’t sign Hamels. I guess not every baseball fan understands what arbitration years are. Don’t worry Mets fans – any deal that is bad for the Phillies is good for you.

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One response to “What’s going on with the Phillies?

  1. You are right. The first thing I thought of when I read this was that I am glad Cashman didn’t do this with Wang back when Wang asked for a long term extension. At the time Cash asked, what’s the point, and it paid off because as we know Wang missed half of last season and it would have cost the Yankees money.

    BTW, can you add me to your blogroll? I run http://www.bronxbaseballdaily.com.

    Thanks.

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