Photo Source: Talk Sports Philly
March 20, 2012
With more than 100 million already committed to 8 Phillies in 2013, it will be very unlikely that the Phillies will be able to extend the 2008 World Series MVP. At the age of 29, it is imperative for him to get every dime he can get out of a ball club. It's not that the Phillies don't want to keep Hamels in a Phillies uniform. This is a numbers game and both Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay are inked in for more than 20 million next season.
What teams could that include? Tough to say. Certainly a big market team that will be able to pay at least what Yu Darvish or CJ Wilson will be making in the American League. Among suitors, the Boston Red Sox will certainly be in the running. Gone are Jonathon Papelbon and starter Tim Wakefield so the Red Sox are running out of reliable pitching options. They have to keep up with the Yankees in the East somehow, right?
The Cubs will also likely be another suitor. I have a feeling Theo will add a few highly priced veterans in addition to a talented younger core. (Which they already have). The Cubs already don't have much depth to their rotation or bullpen with the exception of Garza, Dempster and Marmol. Carlos Zambrano is also gone to Miami, a player that was being paid the kind of money Cole Hamels will be commanding.
Hamels is a southern California guy but I don't see the Padres or Dodgers being in the race next season. The Dodgers are still recovering from the Mccourt era in terms of finances and the Padres are, well, the Padres. When do they ever make big splashes on the free agent market?
The most frustrating aspect of the money issue in baseball is one player driving up the asking price of another player. "Cliff Lee got this, so I should get this based on my numbers." Inflated contracts lead to higher ticket prices and less money to spread around a ball club. In the long run, it is much better for the front office to stand firm and be prideful, even if that means losing a free agent like Hamels to the New York Yankees.
Hometown discount denied.