Thank god for this negotiating-through-the-media tactic employed by front offices throughout baseball, otherwise we’d be telling jokes about Bruce Bochy and posting pictures of ears all day.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, proving that his insider status applies to more than the roll out meetings at the Boras Corporation, reports that the Phillies are planning to offer Cole Hamels $130 million over six years to keep him in Philadelphia.
After allowing this information to leak, General Manager Ruben Amaro dropped the mic and left the figurative stage, perhaps forgetting that in the crazy world of MLB salary escalation and with his team no longer being the dominant force of the National League East, $130 million doesn’t guarantee that Hamels won’t pick up that abandoned microphone and inform all that he’s testing the open market no matter what.
The Phillies and their rapidly aging lineup, you see, aren’t the preferred destination that they once were, and while Matt Cain is getting paid $127.5 million through to 2017, Hamels and his representatives from John Boggs and Associates might prefer to compare his next contract to what Johan Santana received when he signed a six year, $137.5 million extension with the New York Mets in 2008.
In fact, they would definitely prefer to compare it to that. As Heyman points out, Hamels does like playing in Philadelphia as evidenced by his living in the city year round, but he also points out that the lefty’s place of origin might be a factor as well.
He hails from Southern California, and there have been strong whispers the Dodgers, with their new rich owners, intend to make a strong push for him after the year.
I’m not sure that his birthplace is as much of a pull as the stupid amounts of money that Los Angeles will have to spend on free agents in the next signing period. However, Heyman does bring up a good point when he notes that precedent suggests extension negotiations at this point in the season are futile.
While we wait to find out Hamels’ fate, we can bide our time by viewing Ted Berg’s collection of embarrassing photographs.