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If Cole Hamels' main priority is remaining in Philadelphia, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told MLB.com's Todd Zolecki that he'll make Hamels a very wealthy man while keeping the 28-year-old lefty exactly where he wants to be:
MLB.COM: Can you have three $20 million a year pitchers in your rotation?
Amaro Jr.: Yes, we can.
MLB.COM: Why do you say that?
Amaro Jr.: Because I know we can.
Amaro and the Phillies offered Hamels an extension said to be close to the one Jered Weaver signed with the Los Angeles Angels last season—somewhere in the neighborhood of $85 million over five years, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman—but were rebuffed by John Boggs, the man who represents Hamels and dreams of the minute that his client hits the open market:
I don’t think it’s a parallel. That contract is great for Jered. I understand it. But he took a different path and left a lot of money on the table. He came up through the Angels system and grew up in their backyard. He’s pitching where he grew up. That situation appeals to him. It’s a similar situation to when I had Tony Gwynn.
So, after reading what Boggs said to Jim Salisbury of Comcast Sports, the real question is this—is $20 million a year enough to keep Hamels in Philadelphia?
Consider this: The Los Angeles Dodgers are under new ownership, ownership that is going to be looking to make a big move to get Dodgers fans riled up and out to the park. Can you imagine a one-two combination of Clayton Kershaw and Cole Hamels?
They'd arguably be even more dominant than Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, the duo that would remain in Philadelphia.
While the New York Yankees have openly stated that they are under a budget—which I believe to be true—don't think for a second that they wouldn't go hard after Hamels if they felt they needed to.
The point is this: Cole Hamels is only going to become a free agent while under the age of 30 once. Teams will be throwing money at him left and right, luxury tax in 2014 be damned.
So, to answer the question, no, $20 million a season probably won't get it done.
Actual 2012 Salary: $13.5 million
Projected New Contract: $175 million over seven years, an average of $25 million per season