Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins was asked Thursday by CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury where he envisions left-hander Cole Hamels opening the 2013 season:
“He’ll be here,” Rollins replied. “He’s not going anywhere. He was drafted by this organization, raised by this organization and became a superstar in this organization. If you know anything about this organization, that means he’s not going anywhere. It’s fun to talk about for talk radio and stuff like that. But he’s not going anywhere. That’s my opinion.”
It’s exactly the type of thing you’d expect a teammate to say, but Rollins is probably being too optimistic. Hamels has registered a sparkling 2.92 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 405 strikeouts and just 105 walks over the past two seasons and could hit the jackpot in free agency if his ace-like numbers continue in 2012. For him to sign now with Philadelphia, it would take a contract extension worth well over $100 million. And there’s been no indication from general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. that an offer like that is coming. The Dodgers, who will soon have a new, deep-pocketed owner, are likely to be major players in the Hamel sweepstakes if the 28-year-old southpaw indeed reaches the free agent market.