"...The Phillies didn't set the market for Lee any higher than it would have been set by the Yankees if they hadn't signed him..."
-- Yes and no.
'Yes' in that if Hamels was looking to leave, he'd used the Lee salary (probably not the Lee years), as a guideline/comparable even if Lee signed with the Yankees. But even so, most players/agents understand that the Yankees pay a premium in FA for just about everyone, largely for two reasons: 1) they actually DO have the resources to pay those premiums; and 2) there's a MASSIVE cost of living adjustment playing/living 8 months of the year in New York City.
'No' in that with Lee the Phillies established what the Phillies will pay for a player of that caliber. If Lee were making $24 million in the Bronx, the Phillies could tell Hamels "we just can't afford to pay what the Yankees pay" and it would hold water. But now they can't do that. That's why I say they became their own worst enemy as it pertains to Hamels when they signed Lee. Which is precisely why I would have traded Hamels for a boatload of prospects in one of the past two Winters, when every team is flush with cash, and Hamels had a ton of value because of his remaining team control year(s).
Shia Labeouf in that role in Money Never Sleeps is one of the worst casting jobs I have ever seen in any movie.
Ted "Sam Malone" Danson (who was about as typecast as anyone has ever been in Hollywood) was a MUCH MORE authentic investment banker than Shia Labeouf. (Danson was a more authentic doctor, too.)
'Money Never Sleeps' may have been one of the most disappointing sequels I have ever seen.
Script? Check.Casting? Check.Acting? Check.
Just horrible all the way around.
Jesus Mary and Joseph, you are a windbag.
If the Phils didn't sign Lee, the Yanks would and would have "set the market" for Hamels.
That is the answer.
Who cares whether the Phils would then have an excuse that they can't spend like the Yankees?
People are going to be upset when Hamels leaves.... at least now we still have Lee.
It ain't perfect, but the alternative possibility is the Yanks sign Lee and Hamels still leaves in free agency.
But surely we can keep Lee AND sign Hamels, right? I mean, it's not like the Phillies are bankrupt.
If anything, I think the Papelbon signing as well as RAJ's dumb contracts over the past few years have really screwed over the chances of keeping Hamels. I will say, though, that if the Phillies let Hamels walk OR trade Lee, it would be a public relations disaster for the team. The added hatred that poor Howard will feel over his contract (because you KNOW the talking heads will blame Howard and his contract for having to let Hamels walk).
If you let Hamels walk (because if you're in the race you just CAN'T trade him) you might as well let Pence go as well as and just go with an aging team on it's last legs from here on out. If the Phillies are truly ready to hunker down, take a mediocre season or two, and in a few years make a run again, you sign Hamels and Pence and let Victorino go and maybe even trade Doc.
What the Phillies SHOULD have done was let Rollins walk. Now, we're stuck with him because he has the vested right to block any trade that is made for him. This also could have freed up some money that (combined with Polly and Blanton coming off the books) could have been used tio sign Hamels. Meanwhile, Freddy Galvis will probably have to be either moved to third next year or traded, as Jimmy is blocking him for years to come.
They should also NOT have signed Papelbon and gone after a Heath Bell or a Huston Street last year. RAJ needed to be prepared to sign Hamels. Instead, he seemed to either not understand how his team's finances work this year or he just didn't care about signing Hamels.
I don't think the Phils have a problem with the annual money. They've said as much.
I don't think they want to give Cole a 7 year deal.... and a big part of me understands this.
Money-wise is not a problem with the deal.
Again, just to re state my point.
I think the Phils were prepared to sign Hamels (and still are) for a 5 years.
I think you could probably stretch them to 6. but if reports are correct, Cole is asking for 7 years.
I don't think 7 years is sound for any baseball player. I thought the Howard deal was terrible. I watched in awe at TEN YEAR CONTRACTS to Pujols and Fielder.
Only teams that might take a chance on 7 years are the Sox, Yankees and MAYBE the Dodgers just to make a spalsh.
I heard an interesting thing on the radio a few days ago. They were talking about letting Hamels walk and in a few years when Timmy the Pot Head is up trying to sign him. The reasoning being that by signing Cain first, the Giants have essentially told Tim that they can't afford him, are afraid of his herky jerky mechanics hurting his arm, and don't intend to afford him.
Honestly, if Timmy is any good this year (he's looked bad through most of the season so far), I MIGHT consider that. Saves the Phillies the money for a few years and then, once they have a better understanding of their finances, they go after another big guy to replace Doc (who will be gone around that time).
One problem I see - from what I heard, re-signing Jimmy was Monty's big desire because he loves homegrown talent and doesn't want to give them up no matter what. I could see that forcing RAJ to make a dumb decision and overpay for Hamels at the expense of the future. That could very well have been the reason behind the terrible Chase and Howard contracts that came out under, Gillick, I think?
I don't see the Phillies giving out 6 year contracts. Especially for guys like Lincecum who are clearly an injury risk.
But I think we are all sort of over looking the fact that IF you know that Cole will get AT LEAST 6 years from multiple clubs, then you know whether or not you want to sign him.
Right now, the Phillies know what they are going to do with Cole Hamels. The lack of an extension means they have chosen not to offer 6 years.
"The lack of an extension means they have chosen not to offer 6 years."
I'm kind of curious why they wouldn't. Cole is only 28 now. He'd be 34 by the time a six year contract ends. That's not really a bad age for a pitcher. He should be getting set to wind down his career by then.
Of course, the Phillies only gave Lee the long contract and said that it was a one time exception. Although you wonder if they will make an exception for Cole as well. 5 years with a vested option for the six and maybe a mutual option for the seventh might be a good starting point.
I wonder if the Phillies are waiting until after the season ends to see how Howard and Utley are doing. This way they know what their finances are and who they need to replace. Perhaps the Phillies are willing to not pay for Hamels and instead pay a team to take Howard or Utley off of their hands?
here is where I sound like Banner-Murph.
If you let Cole get to Free Agency, it will cost you more to resign him. Period. There will be a team that will match his commands.
Their hands may be tied, though. RAJ has to at least entertain the idea that Utley might pull this BS again next ST. And you have to plan in case Howard isn't what he once was.
All that takes money. Lots of money, in the worst case scenario.
I'm just not sure who is putting who off in this stand-off between Hamels and the Phillies.
My view for some time has been that Hamels wants to test the market. This is not to say that he's not willing to re-sign with the Phillies, but rather that he wants his price set in free agency, and THEN he can decide if he wants to provide anyone a discount.
Regarding the issue of "what happens if he suffers a career-ending injury between now and season's end -- there's insurance that can be bought to cover him there.
A 7-year deal only takes Hamels to age 35. Roy Halladay is going to be 35 in three weeks and if he hits his vesting option, the Phillies are committed to him through his age 37 season. Same deal with Lee; his option year is his age 37 season. So if they're not afraid of these guys through age 37, I don't see where they're afraid to go to age 35 with Hamels. I understand not WANTING to, but that's the nature of the beast in FA, you either do that which you don't want to do, or you waive bye-bye.
I'm not sure why the Phillies would be balking at this point, it indeed they are. If they thought they couldn't sign Hamels long term, then it seems to me like they would have traded him, as that's precisely what happened with Cliff Lee coming into his walk year. RAJ determined that the Phillies weren't going to be able to extend Lee, so he traded him and acquired a guy they could extend. I don't see why things would be different with Hamels.
"I understand not WANTING to, but that's the nature of the beast in FA, you either do that which you don't want to do, or you waive bye-bye."
Surely Banner-murph could not have uttered the words, "that's the nature of the beast in FA, you either do that which you don't want to do, or you waive bye-bye".
Sort of like offering an extra year to ensure that a deal gets done because you lack other options?
Cole would be smart to test FA. Just as Doc would have been and Lee actually was.
The bidding war for Hamels will be high, especially since I believe he's the only big name out there this off season, isn't he?