Quick Q and A on Hamels’ new deal
Some quick questions and answers about Cole Hamels’ six-year, $144 million contract extension
.How big is it?
It is the second largest-ever for a pitcher behind CC Sabathia’s seven-year, $161 million deal with the Yankees, and the biggest in Phillies’ history behind Ryan Howard’s five-year $125 million deal.Why so big?
Because Hamels is good, he’s young (28), and the Phillies were committed to pulling out all the stops to keep him. There was also that little matter of Cliff Lee’s deal, which the Hamels camp viewed as a comparable (see story)
. The seeds for this deal were sown when Lee signed his five-year, $120 million deal in December 2010.What is the salary breakdown?
2013 -- $19.5 million
2014 -- $22.5 million
2015 -- $22.5 million
2016 -- $22.5 million
2017 -- $22.5 million
2018 -- $22.5 million
Signing bonus -- $6 million
2019 – Club option for $20 million or $6 million buyout.
Option for 2019 can automatically vest at $24 million if Hamels meets following criteria: 400 total innings in 2017 and 2018, 200 innings in 2018, and does not end 2018 on the disabled list with an elbow or shoulder injury.How will this impact other Phillies?
The Phils’ opening-day payroll was the second-highest in the majors this season at over $174 million. They just missed reaching the $178 million luxury-tax threshold last season. There is a chance they will reach that mark this year and would be subject to paying a 17.5 percent tax for every dollar they go over.
The threshold remains at $178 million for next season. With four players -- Hamels, Lee, Halladay, Ryan Howard -- with contracts that average over $20 million per season, the Phillies will have to be wary of the tax next season. At a quick glance, they are already pushing $140 million on the tax threshold for next season, and that’s just for 10 players, not including Hunter Pence, who could make in the neighborhood of $14 million in arbitration. To avoid the tax, the Phils will have to be careful in constructing the rest of the roster.
Long story short: Concerns about the payroll and the tax, could lead the Phils to shop Lee and Pence this off-season. Both have been mentioned as trade candidates this month, but if the Phillies hold out hope of making a run at a wild-card, they will probably need both players in the short term.
Shane Victorino remains the Phillie most likely to be traded this month.E-mail Jim Salisbury at firstname.lastname@example.org