I expect we’ll get a lot of this in the coming weeks then, when Hamels doesn’t sign an extension, it will go quiet. Then, when it comes to free agent time, the numbers will be higher. But for the time being, Jon Heyman reports:
The Phillies are said to be planning to offer at least $120 million to star lefthander Cole Hamels in an effort to keep him in Philadelphia and prevent him from becoming a free agent, according to sources.
That’s a lot of money, but I don’t think it’s nearly enough to get it done. It’s less than Matt Cain’s deal. Less than Johan Santana, CC Sabathia too. There is every reason for Hamels to think he could go out and get the highest free agent pitcher deal ever if he hits the market, so $120 million will not keep him from trying.
Can’t fault Philly for trying something, but unless or until the offer becomes a top-of-the-market kind of thing, this is more about “we tried to keep our guy” optics than it is a real offer.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Francisco Giants “have keen interest” in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
Longoria is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017. He’s also still owed $86 million through 2022. Which, back when the deal was signed seemed like quite a bargain for the Rays — and likely has been over the duration of the contract — but now seems somewhat steep for the 32 year-old third baseman. That said, the Giants currently have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base on their depth chart, so Longoria would definitely be an upgrade, even if 2017’s dip wasn’t just a blip.
Nightengale says that for the Giants to take on Longoria, the Rays would have to take on a high salary veteran such as Denard Span or Hunter Pence. Span is owed $9 million in 2018, with a $4 million buyout on a $12 million option for 2019. Pence is owed $18.5 million in 2018 in the final year of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.
If he stays with the Rays, Longoria will achieve 10-5 rights — full no-trade protection due to being a ten-year veteran with five years of service on the same club — so if the Rays are going to move him, it’ll be much easier this offseason, not once the 2018 season begins.