Phillies Preparing Contract Offer For Hamels

Flushing, NY, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) sits in the dugout against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Cole Hamels is really good. The Phillies are really bad. Cole Hamels is going to make a lot of money after this season. The Phillies, according to Jayson Stark, want to give Cole Hamels a lot of money.

Which doesn't mean they won't trade him. Or that they will. It's all so confusing.

The Philadelphia Phillies are preparing a substantial offer to their soon-to-be-free-agent left-hander Cole Hamels in an attempt to determine whether they can sign him to an extension in the next two weeks, sources told ESPN.com on Thursday.

--snip--

There has been no indication the two sides have made any progress toward a new deal for months. However, executives of two clubs that spoke to Phillies' officials say Philadlephia has been expressing a surprising level of optimism it can get the 28-year-old left-hander signed this month.

"They're trying to sign him," said one of those executives. "And they think it's going to happen. At least that's what I was told."

The market for a pitcher like Hamels has essentially been set -- by the Giants when they signed Matt Cain, and by the Phillies when they signed Cliff Lee -- at something like $24 million per season, for five or six seasons.

The Phillies seem to have luxury-tax issues, but if they don't get Hamels re-upped they'll have pitching issues.

Of course, (as Stark notes) Hamels has "been a walking trade rumor for weeks", which is natural considering he's eligible for free agency in a few months and the Phillies are a million games out of first place.

This situation still seems highly fluid. Or, put another way, nobody really knows nothing.

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