Todd Zolecki of MLB.com has the details of Cole Hamels’ six-year, $144 million contract extension with the Phillies, which keeps the 28-year-old left-hander from hitting the open market as a free agent this offseason:
Signing bonus: $6 million
2013: $19.5 million
2014: $22.5 million
2015: $22.5 million
2016: $22.5 million
2017: $22.5 million
2018: $22.5 million
2019: $19 million option or $6 million buyout
There’s a slight twist with that 2019 option in that it vests and becomes a $24 million option if Hamels throws at least 400 innings in 2017-2018, including at least 200 innings in 2018, and isn’t on the disabled list at the end of 2018.
There’s also a bunch of bonuses for awards and All-Star appearances, which Zolecki details further, and the contract includes a limited no-trade clause.
The Astros walked off 3-2 winners in the bottom of the 11th inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Yankees. Carlos Correa struck the winning blow, sending a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ over the fence in right field at Minute Maid Park, ending nearly five hours of baseball on Sunday night.
Correa’s heroics were precipitated by two highly questionable calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top half of the 11th.
Astros reliever Joe Smith walked Edwin Encarnación with two outs, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to bring in Ryan Pressly. Pressly, however, served up a single to left field to Brett Gardner, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Hinch again came out to the mound, this time bringing Josh James to face power-hitting catcher Gary Sánchez.
James and Sánchez had an epic battle. Sánchez fell behind 0-2 on a couple of foul balls, proceeded to foul off five of the next six pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Sánchez appeared to swing and miss at an 87 MPH slider in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning. However, Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the ball, extending the at-bat. Replays showed clearly that Sánchez did not make contact at all with the pitch. James then threw a 99 MPH fastball several inches off the plate outside that Blaser called for strike three. Sánchez, who shouldn’t have seen a 10th pitch, was upset at what appeared to be a make-up call.
The rest, as they say, is history. One pitch later, the Astros evened up the ALCS at one game apiece. Obviously, Blaser’s mistakes in a way cancel each other out, and neither of them caused Happ to throw a poorly located fastball to Correa. It is postseason baseball, however, and umpires are as much under the microscope as the players and managers. Those were two particularly atrocious judgments by Blaser.