Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels delivers a pitch to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of their National League MLB baseball game in Philadelphia

Will the Phillies give Cole Hamels a Jered Weaver-like deal?

73 Comments

Jered Weaver’s new five-year, $85 million extension with the Angels has set the market for young aces nearing free agency and Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer speculates that that Phillies may try to sign Cole Hamels to a similar contract.

Weaver is a year older than Hamels, but in terms of service time they’re identical. Hamels, like Weaver, is eligible for free agency after the 2012 season.

They also have identical 3.39 career ERAs, with Weaver logging 1,084 innings compared to 1,117 innings for Hamels. Since the beginning of last season Weaver has thrown 413 innings with a 2.60 ERA, while Hamels has thrown 381 innings with a 2.86 ERA.

Gelb notes that Hamels has the edge in terms of postseason performance and his higher 2011 salary could push the baseline of a potential deal up slightly compared to Weaver, but if the Phillies want to lock up their elite young starter $85 million for five seasons is a good place to kick off negotiations.

Zack Greinke named the Dbacks’ Opening Day starter

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 21:  Pitcher Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks poses for a portrait during photo day at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 21, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

Not a surprise, but a news item on a slow news day is a news item on a slow news day: Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo has named Zack Greinke as the club’s Opening Day starter.

Greinke’s first season with the Diamondbacks is not exactly what the club hoped for when he signed a six-year, $206.5 million deal in December of 2015. He dealt with oblique and shoulder issues while struggling to a 4.37 ERA over 26 starts. Greinke hasn’t pitched yet this spring, but will make his spring debut on Friday. He and the club are obviously hoping for a quiet March and a strong beginning to the season.

Either for its own sake or to increase the trade value of a player who was acquired by the previous front office regime.

“La Vida Baseball,” celebrating Latino baseball, launches

screen-shot-2017-03-01-at-10-53-41-am
4 Comments

A new website has launched. It’s called “La Vida Baseball,” and it’s all about celebrating the past, present and future of Latino baseball from a Latino perspective.

The site, produced in partnership with the Hall of Fame, has four general areas of focus:

  • Who’s Now: Focusing on current Latino players;
  • Who’s Next: Focusing on top prospects here, in the Caribbean and in Central and South America;
  • Our Life: Off-the-Field stuff, including player’s lives, lifestyles and hobbies; and
  • Our Legends: Focusing on Latino baseball history, Hall of Famers and overlooked players.

As the site has just launched there aren’t yet a ton of stories up there, but there is one about Roberto Clemente, another about Felix Hernandez and some other stuff.

The site is much-needed. Baseball reporters for American outlets are overwhelmingly white, non-Spanish speakers. Reporters, who, generally, gravitate to the players who are the most like they are. Which is understandable on some level. When you’re writing stories about people you need to be able to communicate with them and relate to them on more than a mere perfunctory level. As such, no matter how good the intentions of baseball media, we tend to see the clubhouse and the culture of baseball from a distinctly American perspective. And we tend to paint Latino players with a broad, broad brush.

La Vida Baseball will, hopefully, remedy all of that and will, hopefully, give us a fresh and insightful depiction Latino players and their culture.