Please be true! Please be true! Please be true!
Jayson Stark, of ESPN, reported last night that the Phillies are preparing a final HUGE contract to sign Cole Hamels to an extension.
Although the Phillies’ payroll is approaching the $178 million luxury-tax threshold (and actually may already have exceeded it), the club believes it can find a way to sign Hamels and stay under the threshold in 2013 and beyond, a source said.
However, the Phillies never have signed a pitcher to a contract that included more than the five guaranteed years they gave Lee. And sources said they remain wary of guaranteeing six years or more, but have had numerous internal discussions about whether to break that precedent in Hamels’ case.
Stark hits on the two issues that would hold up the Phillies, but they are two stances that the Phillies are willing to break.
1) David Montgomery stated last season and in the off-season that the Phillies would be willing to make an exception to going over the Luxury Tax, if a special circumstance arose.
Cole Hamels is a special circumstance.
2) Did I mention Cole Hamels is a special circumstance? Because he is. At the age of 28, he gets better every year. He is one of the best home grown pitcher in Phillies history and he is in the prime of his career. If the Phillies offer him 6 years, he will be the 34 at the end of the contract and may still have a few years left.
While trading Hamels makes sense from a business/baseball standpoint (he could net the 3B that we need for next year and some bullpen help for this one,) the fans need the Phillies to sign Hamels. Signing Hamels would help save the season for Phillies fans and give them hope for tomorrow.