The Phillies are said to be making a strong push to resign ace pitcher Cole Hamels in the next 72 hours. If they are unable to resign Hamels to a long-term deal, it is very likely they will look into trading the lifetime Phillie. If Hamels is put on the block, it’s not a full guarantee he will be sent packing.
The number-one priority is still to re-sign Cole. ESPN’s Buster Olney believes it will take a deal ranging from $120M-$135M to keep Hamels, which is considerably more than the $80M it would have taken to sign Hamels last offseason.
By delaying the inevitable, it appears that the Phillies have made bringing back the lefty for the better part of the next decade. The fact Hamels is going to be the only ace pitcher available next off-season really is not helping matters from the Phillies perspective. His price went up significantly when the Giants signed Matt Cain to a contract for greater then $100M earlier this year. And if Hamels continues to excel this season, he may be looking at the one of the highest contracts in baseball history. Plus, the declining age of the Phillies may make a place with young talent, like the Dodgers, even more appealing to Cole.
If Hamels decides to test his worth after the season (especially with Los Angeles), the Phillies will have another tough decision to make. Should they trade him to a contender that will most likely be renting him for the next two months or should they just let it play out, and if he leaves, collect a first-round pick in his place?
The Phillies would not make a trade unless they receive one or more players who obviously have as much worth and potential as a first-round pick. The Rangers are still considered the frontrunner for a trade, but the speculation will be for naught if the Phillies somehow convince Cole to sign now rather than later.
Hamels has been quoted saying a player only gets to be in his position of seeing his actual worth once in his career. He put some doubt in the heads of most Phillies fans when he tried on a Dodgers hat at the All-Star Game this week, but I think that was just Cole having a good time with his situation. I would be very surprised if he were to re-sign in the next few days.
Still, it is good to see that the Phillies realize he could be an integral part of team for the next decade. We should have some answers as to which direction Hamels and the Phillies may go in the next few days.