Cole Hamels and Phillies Reportedly Agree on 6-Year Contract Extension

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2012

So much for the Philadelphia Phillies trading Cole Hamels. The 28-year-old left-hander has officially agreed to a six-year, $144 million contract extension, per Major League Baseball, to remain in the "City of Brotherly Love."

OFFICIAL: @Phillies sign LHP Cole Hamels to 6-year, $144 million contract extension.

MLB (@MLB) July 25, 2012

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports initially reported the deal late Tuesday night, while also putting the parameters of the contract in perspective:

Hamels' deal beats Johan Santana's $137.5-million six-year Mets deal, making it the second-highest ever given a pitcher. CC Sabathia's $161-million, seven-year Yankees deal is the record.

Hamels' new contract gives him the same annual salary as his teammate and friend Cliff Lee, who has a $120-million, five-year deal.

This has been a disappointing and frustrating season for the Phillies, who believed their window to win a World Series was still open after winning 102 games in 2011. Age, injuries and lack of depth have pushed them to the bottom of the National League East this season with a 44-54 record. 

With Hamels' new contract, the Phillies have put a lot of their eggs in very few baskets. Per ESPN's Buster Olney, there are four players under contract to Philadelphia next season who could account for almost $95 million:

Depending on how the Hamels contract is structured, PHI now has about $95 million committed to four players --Howard, Lee, Halladay, Hamels.

— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 25, 2012

That doesn't even include the absurd $13 million they will be paying Jonathan Papelbon. Factoring that in, the Phillies have nearly $108 million committed to five players for 2013. 

Unlike a lot of long-term deals for pitchers, Hamels might actually be able to hold his value for most of this contract. He is durable, having thrown at least 183.1 innings every year since 2007, and his plus-plus changeup gives him a weapon to use even if his fastball isn't an overpowering pitch.