Cole Hamels can hit free agency next offseason, but a contract extension doesn’t appear to be on the agenda for the Phillies this winter.
According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, Phillies assistant general manager said tonight that the club is focused on negotiating a one-year deal with the left-hander.
“We’ve had discussions with Cole,” assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said during an appearance on Comcast SportsNet’s Phillies Hot Stove on Tuesday night. “Right now, we’re focused on a one-year deal.”
“There’s plenty of time down the road,” Proefrock said. “That’s all I’ll say. Right now we’re focused on a one-year arbitration deal.”
Hamels, who turned 28 in December, has a 3.39 ERA over his first six seasons in the big leagues. He went 14-9 with a career-best 2.79 ERA last season while finishing fifth in the balloting for the National League Cy Young Award. The southpaw projects to make around $14 million through the arbitration process this winter.
It’s not clear what it would take to keep Hamels in Philadelphia for the long-term, but Salisbury throws Jered Weaver’s five-year, $85 million deal out there as a comparison. That’s not a bad starting point. Felix Hernandez (five years, $78 million) and Justin Verlander (five years, $80 million) signed similar deals prior to the 2010 season. Still, the idea of Hamels potentially hitting the open market next winter has to scare the bejesus out of Phillies fans.