Deep thoughts: Cole Hamels will be in his age 34 season when his giant deal ends. Ryan Howard is in his age 32 season as his giant deal starts. See: our Ruben is learning!
Anyway, to make it all official-like — and to show you guys that the official Phillies Twitter has not blocked me — we note:
Ken Rosenthal says that the Phillies standard limited no-trade clause is a 21-team no-trade list in which players pick eight teams where they can go without restriction. I guess it’s semantics, but it’s more of a “trade me here” clause than a “no trade clause.”
Also: the vesting option allows for the Phillies to bring Hamels back at a reduced salary for that seventh year if the benchmarks aren’t met. Of course, depending on what those benchmarks are, if they’re not met, it’s likely a situation in which the team doesn’t require his services any longer to begin with.
Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, the team crowned ace Justin Verlander the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.
“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”
Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.
The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.