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.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.