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.
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.