It's good to know that my words rang true regarding Cole Hamels. When I wrote my article a few weeks ago stating that Cole Hamels was the guy who deserved to get paid first, I didn't think it would happen this quickly.
The Phillies avoided arbitration with their ace left-hander and gave Hamels a three-year, $20.5 million contract extension. A news conference is expected within the next day or two according to team officials.
The last time Hamels was in front of a mic it was at Citizens Bank Park, two days after he helped the Phillies win their second World Championship in 126 years. This time around, he will be talking about finally getting the security that he wholeheartedly deserved.
Hamels went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five postseason starts, all Phillies wins. He was MVP of the National League championship series and the World Series.
After the World Series, Hamels was asked if his performance during the month of October confirmed his status as a big-game pitcher that can get it done when called upon.
“Shoot, I guess so,” he said, “I love to go out there and pitch. I love to go out there and win. That’s all I strive for.”
According to the New York Post, Hamels, who was pretty much untouchable through the Phillies' run to the World Series, will make $4.35 million in 2009, $6.65 million in '10 and $9.5 million in '11.
In his third year in the Major Leagues, the newly turned 25-year-old Hamels continued to show he's one of the best pitchers in the game, going 14-10 with a 3.09 ERA in 33 starts and 227 1/3 innings. Hamels also went 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five starts in the postseason. He was the NLCS and World Series Most Valuable Player.
According to The Post and SI.com, Hamels' base salary will jump $500,000 in any season after he wins a Cy Young Award, and by $250,000 if he finishes second or third in the voting.
The deal buys out the first three years of salary arbitration for Hamels. After his contract expires, he will be arbitration-eligible for one more season before becoming a free agent.
This move was brilliant by Amaro and Philadelphia, as this completely rules out any issues involving Hamels, and they proved that they are smart enough to realize what they have.
A few months back, Hamels did an interview with a local radio station where he answered a question about if Philadelphia was going to be the place he believes was going to be his home.
"I'll be here for a really long time," the Most Valuable Player of the National League Championship Series and World Series replied, according to The Philadelphia Daily News, "That's something I really want to do."